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Posts tagged ‘web2.0’

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.


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!

The Ultimate Starter Kit For Looking Into The Future Of Medicine

I receive a lot of questions from patients, physicians, researchers, developers, and policy makers after my talks about where they should start in discovering the future of medicine. Which books, movies, TV series or websites would help them understand and get a clear picture about where medicine and healthcare are heading because of new disruptive innovations.

Here are the top choices in each of these categories.

1) Books

Let me show you two books about the future of medicine. The first is The Patient Will See You Now from Dr. Eric Topol. This is the Number One book in digital health. The second is The Digital Doctor from Dr. Bob Wachter. These two books will give you an absolutely clear picture about where we are heading.

Here are nine more books about the future of medicine.


2) Movies

Regarding movies, Gattaca shows you the non-desired future of genomics. Big Hero 6 talks about how we could measure health parameters at home. And Elysium is discussing the future of radiology and how financial differences will harm society if it comes to health.

Read more in the Top 10 Science Fiction Movies About the Future of Medicine.


3) Television series

Regarding TV series, The Knick gives a great picture about the first years of modern surgery and how medicine develops over time. And I like Humans which depicts a future with robot companions and what problems on the level of society we will have with them. I also like Star Trek that shows you what people thought about the future of medicine decades ago.


4) Websites

These are the ones I check on a daily basis.

5) Social Media channels

Regarding social media channels, there are great communities on Google+ (see the image below) and I regularly check the futurology sub-Reddit on


What are your choices?

5 Ways to Prepare The Doctors of The Future

Years ago when I was a medical student I felt that lexical knowledge was more important than actually being able to find the information I need. And now there are 23 million peer-reviewed papers on so the skill of being able to find information is becoming even more important than ever.

I thought that medical curriculum should be redesigned in a way that now we can serve this new need for skills such as digital literacy. That is why I launched the world’s first university course focusing on social media, mobile health and the future of medicine. The course is still running with full house.

In my new video, I described methods that help us prepare students for becoming physicians who can take care of their patients in a technological world. Here is the video and then summaries of the 5 methods.

Developing e-learning platforms

I launched an e-learning platform for my students on which they can check all the presentations with hand-outs, data, studies, plus they can do the tests online. If they complete the tests online, they can skip the written exam.

The Social MEDia Course

The Social MEDia Course

Engaging students through social media

As all my medical students have Facebook accounts; challenges, tasks about online activities and questions about the topics covered during the lectures are posted every day during the semester on the Facebook page of the course and students with the most bonus points do not have to take the written exam. They fight against each other.



The typical curriculum requires students to study texts and data by heart without proper reasoning and understanding the logic behind it. Instead, study through serious diagnostic games has clear advantages. The “Healing Blade” card game takes the player into a world of sorcery and creatures where real–world knowledge of infectious diseases and therapeutics play a pivotal role in the winning strategy. “Occam’s Razor” is a real diagnostic card game released by NerdCore Medical.


Creating a digital environment

I offer students the chance to interact with each other outside the curriculum online. If they need help in using a social media channel, they can find me online and I’m happy to help. With some of them, I’m still in touch even years after they completed my course. This way they can learn the tricks of online collaboration and it might be a simpler task when they have to do it as a part of their everyday job.

Rethinking the whole curriculum

At Radboud University Medical Center, they are currently working on a revolutionary new medical curriculum. The educational vision behind this transformation has been inspired by people all over the world who want to improve people’s lives through healthcare and education. In this system, each student has a personal coach. They work with a so–called open space technology in which students themselves decide what will be addressed when students and teachers meet. Currently, biomedical and medical students also work as consultants for pharmaceutical companies in an attempt to come up with innovative ideas. These young students still have a lot to learn, but it seems they learn very quickly when under pressure.

Please share what you think either as a student or a lecturer and read more about the future of medical education in my recent book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine!

The Guide to the Future of Medicine ebook cover

Channelling the future in medical education: Infographic!

I launched two courses at Semmelweis Medical School in order to prepare students for the digital world. One is focusing on the medical use of social media, and the other is dedicated to disruptive technologies and how to find the human touch in the digital jungle. Therefore I was very excited when Ashfield, an international healthcare services organization, asked me to be the moderator of a global discussion on the future of education.

I had a chance to work with key opinion leaders of medical education and to engage in amazing discussions about the future needs of medical professionals.

Medical education must ­finally step up to meet the expectations of empowered patients, the needs of busy physicians, and the use of disruptive technologies. This forum was designed to facilitate this process.

See the detailed article about the results on Pharmaphorum, the announcement by Ashfield and the whole infographic. Here is my favorite part and an excerpt from the article of Ruth Herman:

The digital revolution has already led to major changes in channel preferences as mobile technologies, online networks and other innovations provide better ways for healthcare professionals to learn and obtain new information. These changes are likely to continue as the digital skills and sophistication of both patient and physician populations continue to grow. So how can the providers of this information stay ahead?


Iodine: Better information about medications

I met Thomas Goetz at Google years ago and he provided me with excellent advice about my future. Then I read his book, followed his path and was glad to see him as entrepreneur-in-residence at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Now he came up with Iodine, a site with huge potentials. A few things they offer:

  • Drug reviews
  • Side effect database
  • What to expect from a specific drug
  • Compare drugs to each other
  • Popular medications
  • Medical Translator extension for Chrome
  • How people feel about certain medications

Check it out!


Social Media in Clinical Practice: The Handbook

Since Springer published my book, Social Media in Clinical Practice, I have received amazing feedback from e-patients and medical professionals worldwide who found my handbook to be very helpful in their professional and personal lives. Here are a few lines about the book:

The number of patients using social media and the number of applications and solutions used by medical professionals online have been sky-rocketing in the past few years, therefore the rational behind creating a well-designed, clear and tight handbook of practical examples and case studies with simple pieces of suggestions about different social media platforms is evident.

While the number of e-patients is rising, the number of web-savvy doctors who can meet the expectations of these new generations of patients is not, this huge gap can only be closed by providing medical professionals with easily implementable, useful and primarily practical pieces of advice and suggestions about how they should use these tools or at least what they should know about these, so then when an e-patient has an internet-related question, they will know how to respond properly.

As all medical professionals regardless of their medical specialties will meet e-patients, this issue with growing importance will affect every medical professionals which means there is a huge need for such a easily understandable handbook.​

Here you can check out the detailed descriptions of each chapter.

Dr Mesko_Social Media in Clinical Practice Cover

Top Trends And Technologies Shaping Medicine in 2015!

It was an extraordinary year for technological improvements in medicine & healthcare. Wearable devices measuring our vital signs at home; the 3D printing revolution producing prosthetics and biomaterials; exoskeletons getting FDA approval; brain-to-brain interfaces; artificial intelligence becoming widely available and many more as described in my book, The Guide to the Future of Medicine.

There are a lot of reasons to look forward to the year 2015, therefore let’s see the top trends and technologies that will shape the year 2015 in medicine and healthcare!

Organ-on-a-chip technique that can mimic the physiology of human organs might be available in the year 2015 which mean that we might soon be able to create the first virtual model of the human body making it possible to run drug tests on billions of patient models in seconds with supercomputers. Keep an eye on: Wyss Institute of Harvard


In the coming year, digital tattoos as thin as two micrometers might become available making it the ultimate sensor. So I don’t have to use all these gadgets around myself to measure my health data but with one very thin digital tattoo I could measure whatever I would like to measure. Keep an eye on: Takao Someya


Well, while the year of 2014 was the year of the wearable health trackers, 2015 will be the year of smart clothes. T-shirts and trousers which will be able to measure our health parameters in the most convenient way. Keep an eye on: Hexoskin.

15c 2

The first medical tricorders will come to the market due to the Qualcomm Tricorder XPrize and Nokia Sensing XChallenges. These will produce little devices that by scanning the body would come up with a few simple diagnostic options or measure any kind of vital signs at once. Keep an eye on: DMI.


IBM supercomputer named Watson as a cognitive computer will be used in more and more medical practices worldwide and more and more hospitals will buy that as an actual asset to the medical decision making process. Keep an eye on: IBM Watson.

Blood tests will be revolutionized by making them available with just one droplet of blood at first Walmarts around the US. Keep an eye on: Theranos.

Food scanning is coming at home and we will be able to finally know what ingredients our food contains by using spectroscopy. Keep an eye on: Tellspec.

Augmented reality will move away from Google Glass more towards the first digital contact lenses that can measure blood glucose levels from tears as an added benefit. Keep an eye on: bionic contact lenses.

The first 3D printed biomaterials will become mainstream as this year, the first liver tissues printed out in 3D will be used by pharmaceutical companies maybe making animal testing unnecessary. Keep an eye on: Organovo.

Empowered patients will attend more and more conferences, they will speak at these conferences and more and more e-patients will be included in editorial boards of peer reviewed journals.

Direct-to-consumer companies in genomics will deal with the challenges FDA will come up with and we will move towards very cheap whole genome sequencing. Although the cost will not be zero next year, but we will get closer to my prediction that the shipping cost of the sample will be higher than actually sequencing the genome. Keep an eye on: Gentle.

In areas with doctor shortages, telemedicine will be used at its best. Moreover, the first force-feedback gloves will come to the market making it possible to even feel the handshake form a distance, even from continents away while discussing medical issues through telemedical applications. Keep an eye on: InTouch Health.

Telemedicine Robots
Prosthetics will become more sophisticated and much much cheaper due to the 3D printing revolution. There will be people who will want to replace their healthy limbs for state-of-the-art prosthetic ones. Keep an eye on: Touch Bionics.


And I think that the first brain-computer interfaces will be used in practice, plus we will more and more be able to measure our brain activities; and to learn how to be relaxed or how to be focused at home. Keep an eye on: Muse and PIP.


Besides these, privacy and security issues will rule the year as well as an effort to get good mobile health applications and digital services reimbursed by insurers. We will see.

Here are some more lists.


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