In the last 10 months, I’ve been working day and night to finish a book that could fill a huge gap regarding the practical use of social media in medicine and healthcare. Social Media in Clinical Practice was meant to introduce medical professionals to the digital world through real-life examples, suggestions and step-by-step instructions.
I’ve been teaching medical students and physicians about these topics for many years and they always came up with a final question: is there a practical book that could help us learn the meaningful use of social media? Now yes, there is!
I hope medical professionals will find it useful and e-patients will share it with their doctors.
Social media has been clearly changing the way medicine is practiced and healthcare is delivered. Medical professionals must be able to meet the special needs of technology-aware patients and use digital technologies in their work and communications properly. Each physician should find the tools that will assist them in their workflow, and patients need to be educated how to use the internet. It is the responsibility of medical professionals to contribute to this process. The constantly evolving digital world must be used in the practice of medicine to improve the care of patients. However, the only way to do so effectively is via evidence-based, meaningful and strategic use. Social Media in Clinical Practice provides practical guidance in this mission and is thus essential reading for all medical personal looking into approaching this for the first time.
Here is the table of contents:
- Social media is transforming medicine and healthcare
- Using medical search engines with a special focus on Google
- Being up-to-date in medicine
- Community sites Facebook, Google+ and medical social networks
- The world of e-patients
- Establishing a medical blog
- The role of Twitter and microblogging in medicine
- Collaboration online
- Wikipedia and Medical Wikis
- Organizing medical events in virtual environments
- Medical smartphone and tablet applications
- Use of social media by hospitals and medical practices
- Medical video and podcast
- Creating presentations and slideshows
- E-mails and privacy concerns
- Social bookmarking
Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media (where I’m a member of the External Advisory Board) just published their social media guidelines in a video.
Do you remember the story of Jack Andraka? It seems this is going to be a trend now. A 14-year-old teenager in the US discovered that the magnets inside an iPad could shut off implanted defibrillators if the device is left on the chest for some time.
Chien’s study found that 30 percent of patients with defibrillators who put iPads on their chest were affected by the device. Most defibrillators will turn back on once the magnet is removed, but some must be reactivated manually causing a potentially life-threatening situation.
As I will do a Master Class at Medicine X about teaching social media in health sciences, the Scope blog of Stanford Medicine asked me to do an interview about my course in which I help medical students become better at digital literacy. An excerpt:
The most important thing here is a quote I’ve been using for years: “If you want to teach me, you first have to reach me.” Therefore I love going to the platforms that my students are already using. This semester it was Facebook, and I managed to teach them and test their knowledge on that platform. It was a real win-win situation.
All medical educators should design a new approach in transmitting the knowledge to students by analyzing what they do online. We do the same thing in the offline world by coming up with new textbooks and creating engaging presentations - why would we not do that online as well?
There are more and more ways for crowdsourcing clinical questions, and the newest addition to the family of web tools and services is Figure 1, a photo sharing site for healthcare professionals. Registered physicians can share images, learn from others and bookmark useful cases.
I’m not sure this is what the medical community requires right now, but I’m always curious about further developments.
According to the co-founder, Joshua Landy, MD:
“I developed Figure 1 because I wanted a safe way to share medical images with the medical community, while protecting patients’ privacy.”
I first heard about Focus@Will at Futuremed this February and since then I’ve been following the developments. Today, they published an announcement about the Android application they just released. I worked now for hours listening to the music they provided and it was a great first experience.
It has a three week free full access trial period for new users. After that subscription will cost $3.99 per month.
The focus@will music stream engages your non-focal (background) attention, but not so much that it interferes with your conscious focal attention on the task at hand. This is music you hear but should not be actively listening to. If a track is too bland, your subconscious will start ignoring it, and if too interesting, novel, dynamic or exciting, you will start consciously noticing it, which will distract you. Every track in our exclusive library has been remixed/re-edited and remastered to deliver the precise set of required attributes to keep you in the focus zone.
When I wanted to include digital literacy in the medical curriculum, I worked really hard to get a chance for a pilot at a medical school with over 240 years of history. Now it has been running for 5 years. I teach medical students about the use of social media and how to deal with e-patients. Therefore when I came across and read the book, Let Patients Help, by E-Patient Dave, I knew this is what I was looking for.
I think we should make this book a must-read book in every medical school. To fulfill this huge mission, we need people working at medical schools who can work their way to the top and add it to the curriculum school by school.
If you work at a medical school or know someone who could help us, please let me know!