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Posts from the ‘twitter’ Category

Hashtags on Twitter

I’ve recently realized how important it is to use hashtags when sharing content, ideas or links on Twitter. When I started using hashtags massively again, I got into more discussions and got more feedback. So if you don’t know which hashtag you should use at the end of your tweets, here are the most famous ones in medicine and healthcare.

Twitter is a Petri Dish: Slideshow

Shwen Gwee published a great slideshow about how Twitter can be used by pharma for online communication. A must see:

Predicting Epidemics via Twitter?

Do you remember when Google Flu Trends was announced to be able to track and predict flu outbreaks in US states based on the search queries focusing on flu symptoms? Do you remember when a study pointed out although it was interactive and neat but was not as useful as CDC national surveillance programs? Well, now Twitter is meant to fill this gap. If you ask me, it won’t.

“Get Fit” Twitter Campaign by GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare has recently launched a Twitter-based campaign focusing on health tips against cancer. People can share their own health tips on Twitter by using the #get_fit hashtag that has over 200 country-specific forms. While the initiative is great (that is how a huge company should motivate people to share interesting health tips in order to fight cancer), I think creating multiple hashtags for different countries was a mistake as it might lower the rate of participation (I have to look for my country’s special hashtag first).

That’s why at GE Healthcare we’re running an online initiative to encourage people to “Get Fit” and join the fight against cancer. The “Get Fit” project aims to inspire people all around the world to seek healthier lifestyles by exercising, eating well and engaging in other activities that foster health — and share their choices using Twitter.

Game on! We’re hosting a global competition to see which continent’s population can “Get Fit” fastest. The more people who tweet about how they are getting fitter, using their country’s designated “Get Fit” hashtag (see below), the faster the cells hovering over their continent (Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australasia, and the Middle East and Africa) will turn from “risky red” to “healthy green” on the competition’s interactive map. The continent that “goes green” fastest wins.

How to start social media as doctors?

My old friend and mentor, Ves Dimov, MD at Clinical Cases and Images shared some great instructions about how to start using social media as medical professionals.

- Start on Twitter, expand to a blog as natural progression.

- Input your blog posts automatically to a Facebook like/fan page.

- Listen to the leading physicians, nurses and patients’ voices on Twitter, and reply.

- Comment on blogs.

- Do not be afraid to share your expertise.

- Comply with HIPAA and common sense.

Howard Luks addresses this issue:

Also here is what Ves thinks about using Twitter.

I have published a series of similar entries on my Medicine 2.0 page.

Finding a Kidney Donor through Twitter

NBC’s Today show described a story of a Mayo Clinic patient with kidney disease who received a life-saving transplant after her daughter made connections with a volunteer kidney donor through social media, notably on Twitter.

Health 2.0 News: From Pharma to Health Games

Among FDA’s TOP three “normal” surveillance activities was “complaints submitted by industry competitors.” In fact, Gray said “we have found that industry competitors tend to be some of the best sources of information about potentially false and misleading advertising.”

Digital Pharma caught Bayer posting a Tweet – via its @BayerUKIreland Twitter account – that seems to violate new social media guidelines published by the UK’s Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), which oversees the self-regulatory code of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

Tweet_Fit tweets while you do exercises

Tweet_Fit is an amazing idea that is similar in nature to Kickbee. Here are the details:

Developed by a UK design student, the connected gym accessory attaches to the end of a standard dumbbell and sends updates to your Twitter account when you start and stop your workout. Take it offline and it guides you through the perfect curl. Tweet_Fit’s designer points out that it offers a novel way for trainers to keep track of their clients, and can be used to spur healthy competition between friends.

Interview about Crowdsourcing in Medicine on Al Jazeera English

I’ve recently had a live interview on Al Jazeera English about crowdsourcing a diagnosis on Twitter. I really enjoyed the discussion and I hope you will enjoy it too. Here is the article about it and you can watch the interview on my Facebook profile.

Debrecen-based Bertalan Meskó, a medical doctor who tweets under the name @Berci and has more than 6,000 followers, reported on his blog [en] that he was listed among the Top 10 Medical Tweeters on Project IVLine. He wrote this about his Twitter experience: “Whenever I have a question about my profession, PhD, or social media, generally I receive a valid and relevant answer in minutes.

Crowdsourcing in medicine via Twitter

I’ve been building a medical community on Twitter for years and now I have about 6000 followers including doctors, medical students, patients, medical librarians, scientists, etc. Whenever I have a question about my profession, PhD, or social media, generally I receive a valid and relevant answer in minutes. I don’t always know who might have the answer for my questions, that’s why it can be beneficial to put that into a large pot full of people with similar interests and wait for the answer. There is always someone with an answer or there is always someone in the communities of my community who might have the final solution.

That’s why I use Twitter for everyday communication, even though my main platform is my still blog.

It’s an honor to be included in the world’s top 10 medical Twitter users’ list. Last year, I was selected by The Independent and later my Twitter story was mentioned in the New York Times. Although, I publish the core content of my activities on my blog instead of Twitter, but now that is the place to track interesting medical stories. According to Peer Index, I’m the 6th in a list of 1000 medical Twitterers.

My experience after building this community for years is that with enough time and efforts, you can build a network capable of proper crowdsourcing even in medicine, but for a long time, you have to work “blindly” without seeing the actual and probable benefits. These days, I use Twitter for many reasons:

  • to ask clinical questions
  • to look for medical papers
  • to find new contacts
  • to receive speaker invitations
  • to get feedback about my projects
  • to look for collaborators
  • to find content for my presentations, etc.

So to sum it up, crowdsourcing can be wonderful, but requires a lot of work and energy in advance. Although, after that, it turns out it is really worth it…


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