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Posts from the ‘twitter’ Category

5 Things I Learnt On The Way To 50,000 Twitter Followers

I started using Twitter in 2007 and have been publishing thoughts, content and news about digital health since then almost on an hourly basis. I don’t care about numbers but when you reach a milestone, it keeps you thinking about what you have learnt on the way. Here are the 5 things I learnt while building a network of over 50,000 followers.

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1) The slower, the better.

I could have followed tens of thousands of people irrelevant to my topics and gain a few more followers myself. But using Twitter has always meant being in the bloodstream of information and for this I chose to take it slow. It took me over 8 years to build my network and I’m glad I chose the wise way. I know many of those people in person or we have been in contact for years. It builds trust and leads to professional relationships.

2) There are no limits

I travel around the world almost constantly, but I’m based in Budapest. What I learnt is there are no physical or geographical limitations when millions of people are connected to each other. My network is mostly US-based but I can talk to any medical professional, patient or innovator who has something to say about forming the future of medicine.

3) We solve problems together

A lot of issues related to healthcare pop up in the stream of Twitter every day and we try to get the best people to think about the possible solutions. Through Twitter, I managed to crowdsource a complicated diagnosis, I get answers for very specific questions and make new contacts around the world.

4) People respond more easily

I talk with people by e-mail, Skype, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and many more channels. In my experience, people tend to respond faster when approached on Twitter as they know the character limitation only lets them transmit the key part of the information without the garnish.

5) I get news on Twitter

Twitter is the best filter I have today to get the key news and announcements about digital health. Companies get in contact with me to test their products and wearable health trackers. Twitter sends me those tweets that received the biggest attention that day. If I still miss something, someone will send it to me personally.

Because of my Twitter network, I live in a limitless world full of opportunities and information.

Let’s tweet in touch!

20 Doctors You Should Be Following on Twitter

It’s always a pleasure to be included in such lists as I get to know others working in the field of digital health. Here is the full list and an excerpt:

Twitter can be the ideal platform for a physician to offer meaningful, relevant information to patients and colleagues. Getting started is the hardest part, but looking to others who have succeeded on Twitter can be a good way to draw inspiration. These 20 doctors are burning up their Twitter feeds and attracting massive followings—each in their unique way.

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How to start on Twitter: A Nephrologist’s Perfect Tutorial!

Twitter is my favorite tool serving as a channel between my mind and the minds of several thousands of like-minded people every day. It takes time to learn how to use it properly but it is absolutely worth the effort.

Now, Joel Topf, nephrologists created a fantastic tutorial about how and where to start! Don’t miss it!

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The most important trend in physician communications: Report

MDigitalLife released a report about the most important trend in physician communications. Read their statement and download the report here.

They also shared an interesting insight about my Twitter statistics.

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How I Completely Re-Wired My Digital Life: 16 Tips

I’ve been massively active online for at least 10 years therefore I have built networks focusing on my favorite topics leading to a point where I invest my time into human intelligence instead of checking hundreds of article titles every day. Although, as others, I often face the problem of being efficient time-wise online as receiving thousands of social media messages a day makes it a real challenge.

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Now I share with you the experience I’ve had in the last 6 months as during that time I have completely re-wired how I use the internet for professional purposes and how I manage my digital life.

Dealing with e-mails: I have to deal with about 200 e-mails a day, the majority of them requiring action from me. I tag e-mails massively in Google Mail and have been teaching Gmail how to categorize my e-mails automatically (important ones, promotions, social media related e-mails, etc.). While some of my colleagues quit using e-mail, I think this is still my information HQ and the official communication channel to me. But I don’t start the morning any more by checking e-mails. Instead, I start the day with reading a chapter in a book. It gives me a great start, plus as my brain is the most active in the early hours, I can learn a lot. After that, I deal with e-mails at specific time periods, otherwise I couldn’t focus properly.

Facebook: I use Facebook for professional purposes and before this time, Facebook was proven to be absolutely useless. But I changed my strategy and unfollowed (hiding their posts from my stream) cc. 1400 out of my 1600 followers. At the same time, I started following about 100 pages focusing on social media and the future of medicine. It means now my Facebook stream is almost free of noise but full of useful information.

Google+: The main streams of my Google+ network are very much hectic, but the communities of Google+ focusing on my areas such as the future, medicine and social media are priceless. Those are the most curated information streams I check every day.

Twitter: This is my key and fastest communication channel. In my experience, people using Twitter can be approached much easier through their Twitter account than via e-mail. As Twitter messages should only contain real information (no garnish), I can respond in seconds. I use Tweetdeck for organizing my streams and get the most important filtered news out of my focused groups easily. Symplur helped me organize topics with new hashtags such as #medicalfuture or #HCSMcourse.

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

Linkedin: This is my most professional channel. I’ve been working on improving my profile there for years which resulted in an “All-Star” profile as ranked by LinkedIn. I paid for the premium service showing me those who check my profile and might be potential clients. It also puts my profile high up in search results. It is connected to my blog automatically.

Blogging: This is one of the activities I enjoy the most even after 7 years (have written over 5000 blog entries). To be honest, I still use bookmarks for storing the topics I would like to write about and dedicate at least 5 hours a week to blogging. Whatever project I come up with, I can reach thousands of very relevant people with only one blog entry. My blog is a golden mine for me.

The Ultimate Online Resource: I thought I had so many online channels I needed a professional website serving as an umbrella above all those channels. Medicalfuturist.com now shows all my active channels featuring Scienceroll.com and Twitter.com/Berci; and the Medical Futurist Newsletter let me build a network of people interested in the future of medicine. This is now my digital public HQ.

Organizing short- and long-term tasks: One of the toughest challenges I face is organizing the many tasks, projects and jobs I have. The reason why is that although I have thousands of meetings a year and travel a lot, I don’t work in an office and don’t have access to an intellectually rich community in my everyday life. Therefore I have to create this ambiance around me. I use a Google Document with color codes and different sections showing me the tasks of today, of tomorrow, of this week and of this month. Every 4 weeks, I sit down and analyze the long-term goals (months-years) and assign new tasks to my everyday life. This is crucial in order to put effort into things that really matter. This system now makes sure I keep being motivated without artificial or external inputs.

Just before deadline

Bookmarks: When you save tens of thousands of links, a traditional bookmark is not enough any more. The links I might need later are saved and categorized by bit.ly (as I shorten almost all the links I share). By creating bundles, it lets me organize these links in a convenient way.

Web browser: About 2 years ago, I switched from Firefox to Google Chrome and I have no idea why I didn’t start using it earlier. All the devices I use (PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone) have Chrome and it automatically synchronizes my settings, bookmarks and browser history. It makes my life easier.

Automatic updates: There are pieces of information I need to collect through non-structured channels such as search engines. As I don’t have to go back and search for the same things again and again, I use Google Alerts for getting updates about certain topics; and use Pubmed.com‘s Save Search function to get peer-reviewed papers automatically focusing on my areas.

Feedly: While some people think RSS is so web 2.0-ish, I couldn’t live without it as my information resources would be hectic while I need a very much structured way of following resources. Feedly lets me organize websites into categories and now I follow 430 resources easily.

Improving cognitive skills: I’m a huge fan of life-long learning as I believe improving my cognitive skills should be a priority at any point in my life. When I came across Lumosity, I knew I found what I’d been looking for. I’ve been using it for 5 months and I can feel how better I’m at different tasks that require good memory, speed, flexibility or other skills. It only takes 5 minutes a day. When I have to wait somewhere, I grab my phone and use Dr. Newton, a game for improving cognitive skills therefore I always try to do something useful for my brain.

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Focus: Dealing with hundreds of messages and thousands of pieces of information is one thing, but the projects I work on require real focus. In order to make it easier for myself, I use time frames for different tasks (such as checking e-mails or using Twitter) every day and keep other timeframes free for tasks that require real focus. Focus@Will has been proven to facilitate this for me.

Learning new things: No matter, how limited my free time is, I must constantly try to learn new things. As I have wanted to learn to speak Spanish for years, I decided to download Duolingo and follow its instructions as it teaches languages in a gamified and interesting way. I love it.

Physical activities: I cannot work efficiently without living a healthly life and being physically active. I use the wearable Shine to make sure I exercise enough every single day and do include the exercises I have to do every day in my Google Document. I realized I really accomplish things and tasks that are in my time-management Google Document and adding the details of doing physical activities as such tasks to that as well turned out to be a great solution for motivating myself.

I hope this experience of over 6 months will help you be more efficient and successful in your personal and digital lives as well!

Introducing the #HCSMcourse Twitter Hashtag!

My mission is to bring digital knowledge to medical students therefore preparing them for the world full of digital technologies that is coming. This is why I launched the world’s first university course focusing on social media and mobile health for medical students in 2008. Here are a few ways how I try to teach them:

  • There is a real credit course at Semmelweis Medical School where I have courses in English and in Hungarian. I try to teach them digital literacy through spectacular and engaging presentations.
  • They can answer questions about the topics covered in the lectures on Facebook to gather bonus points for the exam.
  • There is an e-learning platform so then any medical student or professional worldwide can access the materials and take the tests for the certification.
  • Students get credits for creating medical blogs, Twitter profiles or Wikipedia entries.

As you can see, following the “If you want to teach me, you first have to reach me” approach, I do everything I can to get the message across: every medical professional will be affected by online medical communication.

The Social MEDia Course

The Social MEDia Course

This is why I was very glad when Symplur contacted me about a potential collaboration. Let’s create a new hashtag #HCSMcourse referring to the widely used healthcare social media (#HCSM) hashtag. This new hashtag would focus on two goals:

  1. To collect all materials, concepts and ideas about teaching social media in medical education.
  2. To give students a chance to belong to a global community even after graduating from medical school.

As Twitter is my main communication channel these days, I cannot wait to exploit this idea in even more details.

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Social Media in Clinical Practice: Chapter 7, The Role of Twitter and Microblogging in Medicine

When I realized Springer made the individual chapters of my book, Social Media in Clinical Practice, available, I thought it would be useful for future readers to get some insights about each chapter one by one.

Here is the short summary of what you can read about and an excerpt of the seventh chapter, The Role of Twitter and Microblogging in Medicine:

As social media became widely popular through blogging and community sites, there was a clear need for a communication channel or platform that is fast, interactive and archived. The concept of using such a communication platform was new as it was introduced in a train station in London, UK in 1935. The user wrote a brief message on a continuous strip of paper and dropped a coin in the slot. The inscription moved up behind a glass panel where it remained in public view for at least 2 h. The concept of microblogging is similar.

Topics covered:

  • Features that make a quality account
  • Communication on Twitter
  • Organizing Tweetchats
  • The First Steps After Creating an Account
  • Practical Details of Using Twitter
  • Potential Uses of Twitter in Medicine and Healthcare
  • Examples of the different types of Twitter accounts
  • Other Microblogging Platforms

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Chapters that have already been covered:

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