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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
You may remember when I mentioned that the Henry Ford Hospital streamed the first live surgery on Twitter (Twurgery). It seems it wasn’t an only example, as now more and more healthcare institutions start doing the same.
It seems as though Twitter is everywhere these days, but this is a new one: Thursday, Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro is tweeting in the operating room.
MTMC tweeted updates and photos of a woman’s hysterectomy as it happened. The patient, Karen Alwell, said she was confident everything would go well.
It wasn’t the surgeon tapping away on his smart-phone; he had his hands full operating the daVinci Robotic Surgical System to complete the hysterectomy. An employee at the hospital posted the updates.
You can follow their Twitter account for more updates and they also posted images during the operation.