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A great, big wrap of recent news on social media and health

This post is the first in a Croakey series based upon links found on Twitter over the past several weeks. It covers health news from the world of social media and related technologies. Other posts in the series will link to recent news related to public health, health care, conflicts of interest in heath care, and health journalism.

The series is for those who still need convincing that Twitter is a treasure trove of useful information and contacts – and for those who don’t have the time to trawl Twitter. (It’s also to help justify the amount of time I spend on Twitter, to give me something to show for all those hours. If you follow Croakey on Twitter, you may have already seen some of these resources).

Social media and health news

• This screencast on using Twitter for medical education  has been posted by Welcome to the Southampton Emergency Medicine Education Project, a website that “aims to educate, inspire and entertain anyone who is interested in Emergency Medicine”, and is produced by  emergency physicians from Southampton University Hospital Emergency Department. Other screencasts from this group cover using Itunes to download podcasts for medical education,  and a guide to finding internet based learning resources.

• A series of “webinars” will be held for healthcare leaders on how they can use social media. These are being run out of the US and it’s not immediately clear whether they are open to other countries, but more details are here. They aim to “thoroughly communicate to healthcare leaders the power of engaging and interacting with patients, strengthening the experience and attracting new patients, through social media tools online”. (Update, 13 Jan: the organisers have advised: webinar’s open to all; it’s US-regs-focused, but much of the material is applicable anywhere.)

• This BMJ blog explains why Twitter is increasingly relevant to doctors and discusses how to use it as a professional networking tool. It says: “Twitter provides doctors with access to a vast global professional network of commissioners, providers, journals, patients, clinicians, and many others. Twitter’s open network crosses geographical and interprofessional boundaries. Importantly, it flattens hierarchies—where else can a junior doctor strike up a conversation with the editor of the BMJ (@fgodlee)?”

• Now that we have e-patients, this medical blogger argues that we also need e-doctors.

• That same medical blogger’s diagnosis of seven social media mistakes made in health care (the first one is avoidance…)

• To create guidelines that will help health care workers safely navigate in cyberspace, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar Dr Ryan Greysen is “conducting ongoing research with state medical boards to find out just what problems may arise when physicians and other medical professionals use the Internet”.

• Meanwhile, some tips on how to use Twitter effectively.

• The goal of the “Healthcare Hashtag Project” is to make Twitter more accessible for the healthcare community. It says: “…we hope to help new and existing users alike to find the conversations that are of interest and importance.”

• An Australian – Ed Butler from Brisbane (@ej_butler) – is one of the top health IT people on Twitter, according to this list, which gives some useful tips for people to follow. It says: “Each of the following Twitter feeds comprise significant voices – individuals and organizations – involved in the development of and commentary on healthcare standards, policy, current events and debates that are defining the future of the healthcare IT industry. As social media leaders, they make up the foundation for the health IT information network on the Web and are shaping the future of health IT for all of those involved, from patients to providers and all in between.”

American Medical News reports that hospitals in the US are hiring staff members dedicated solely to social media, and to getting physicians to use these tools.

• While some media dinosaurs continue to bag Twitter (you know who I mean…), the rest of us find it very useful for linking us into pieces like these which put quite a different slant on recent media reports about failures of the contraceptive Implanon: from Ben Goldacre in PLoS Medicine, and the Behind the Headlines service in the UK.

• A group at Georgetown University have released a paper, Using Social Media Platforms to Amplify Public Health Messaging.

• This Wall Street Journal report describes the use of smartphone apps to help caregivers of elderly people keep track of medication dosages, nutritional requirements and other daily health-care needs. It says that more than 8,700 health-related applications are available across the three main platforms, according to a September 2010 study by MobiHealthNews. The iPhone leads the pack in terms of quantity of health-related apps, with 7,136 in September, up 67% from February.

• On a similar theme, the LA Times reports on a new technology that helps patients take their medications regularly by sending reminder calls, weekly e-mail reports and monthly updates to patients and caregivers. It makes everyday pill bottles “smart.” It fits on standard prescription bottles and uses light and sound reminders to alert people when they should take their medication. These warnings can be followed by a phone call or text message so they don’t miss a dose.

• Some US surgeons are using iPads in operating rooms to access, and The Journal of Surgical Radiology has published a report about Dr. Felasfa Wadajo, an orthopedic surgeon at Georgetown University, and his use of iPads in his practice in the January 2011 issue.

• The Wall Street Journal reports on a new company that is using social networking for a variety of uses in healthcare, including to refine pharmaceutical marketing.

• On a similar note, Time magazine reports on how pharma marketing is using social media, and how regulators are responding (or not).

• And The Wall Street Journal reports that medical companies are giving doctors iPads and other high-tech sweeteners.

Craig Thomler (who is definitely worth a follow on Twitter if your interest is health and web/govt 2.0) recommends a video explaining how workplaces can use social media and the need for companies/organisations need to develop new communications approaches. It’s not specific to healthcare and is fairly basic, but gives a useful introduction/overview.

• If only Twitter had pointed me to this site in time for my Christmas shopping. Certain lucky people may well have ended up with ties bearing the mark of various infections, perhaps the giardia or avian flu neckties. For myself (and hopefully this is no inkblot test), my favourite is the “mad cow necktie”, pictured below.

A suitable tie??
A suitable tie??

• And if you still need convincing of Twitter’s merits, you can now find Atul Gawande there (@Atul_Gawande). His Twitter profile describes him as a “Surgeon, Writer, Researcher, Dilettante”, but others might call him one of the world’s best writers on medicine and healthcare. He recently tweeted a link to this essay on leadership in the military which may be of interest to health care chiefs.

• Meanwhile, this is a cute yarn about how one person used Twitter to score, amongst other things, a guided tour of the White House.

• And here are 2010’s most powerful Tweets, according to Twitter.

OK. That’s it for now. If you still think Twitter is not worth a look, then stay tuned for the rest of the series…

Comments 6

  1. Becky Freeman says:

    Great post, Melissa – thanks for sharing all of this valuable content.

    I noticed that @nicorette was making the most of New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking and was running a promotion on Twitter. They sponsored the # tag #QuittingSucks so that it would appear in the top trend lists – a potentially useful way to create interest the topic.

    I had a quick look at the Tweets using the #QuittingSucks tag and there was a wide mix of other Tweeters using the tag sarcastically, to discuss their own quitting smoking, to draw people to their own tweets and some for the actual purpose intended, to promote Nicorette. Would be very interested to know how/if this campaign is deemed successful.

    @nicorette is also giving away coupons and vouchers to ReTweeters. I did a quick and clumsy search to see if they had recrutied a celeb with high followers to retweet it, but I found nothing – not even Jessica Simpson who claims to be addicted to the gum. Supposedly celeb paid promotion is the most common forms of paid advertising on twitter.

    Cheers,
    Becky

    School of Public Health | Sydney Medical School
    THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

  2. Michelle Imison says:

    Further to the picture of that lovely tie, Melissa, these are favourites with medical colleagues and friends:

    http://www.giantmicrobes.com/au/

    Really, it’s hard to beat giving someone – say – the clap for Christmas…

  3. vdutton says:

    See what happens when a hospital does not have a social media policy.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GufTuZ3-YRo

  4. ding says:

    Here is another example of some social media use – Why Do I Have Private Health Insurance?

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Why-Do-I-Have-Private-Health-Insurance/153329234715351

    The newly formed and independent facebook page is trying to encourage discussion on improving the private health system system. How about a system that is more transparent with less gaps?!

    It also provides the links to health insurers and offers tips on how to avoid the traps like the medicare levy surcharge.

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diabetes
digital technology
disabilities
e-health
emergency departments and care
Equally Well
euthanasia
evidence-based issues
general practice
genetics
health & medical marketing
health and medical education
health and medical research
Health Care Homes
health ethics
health financing and costs
health reform
health regulation
health workforce
HIV/AIDS
hospitals
HRT
infectious diseases
influenza
international medical graduates
journal articles
LGBTIQ
medical marijuana
Medicare Locals
men's health
mental health
MyHospitals website
National Commission of Audit 2014
National Health Performance Authority
naturopathy
NDIS
NHMRC
non communicable diseases
nurses and nursing
oral health
organ transplants
out of pocket costs
pain
palliative care
paramedics
pathology
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
pharmaceutical industry
pharmacy
Pregnancy and childbirth
primary health care
Primary Health Networks
private health insurance
quality and safety of health care
rural and remote health
screening
sexual health
social media and healthcare
suicide
surgery
swine flu
telehealth
tests
TGA
trauma
women's health
youth health
Indigenous health
#CTG10
#NTRC
Acknowledgement
cultural safety
Indigenous education
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
WA community closures
News about Croakey
PIJ Commissions 2021
Public health and population health
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
#UnmetNeedsinPublicHealth
air pollution
alcohol
consumer health matters
COVIDwrap
environmental health
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
food and nutrition
gambling
Government 2.0
gun control
health communications
health impact assessment
Health in All Policies
health inequalities
health literacy
human rights
illicit drugs
injuries
legal issues
marriage equality
Media Doctor Australia
media-related issues
nanny state
National Preventive Health Agency
obesity
occupational health
physical activity
plain packaging
prevention
public health
public interest journalism
road safety
sport
sugar tax
tobacco control
transport
vaccination
violence
Web 2.0
weight loss products
Royal Commission
Social determinants of health
discrimination
education
housing
justice
Justice Reinvestment
NBN
Newstart
poverty
racism
social policy
Summer reading 2020-2021
Tasmanian election 2021
Testing Croakey News category 1
The Croakey Archives
#cripcroakey
#HealthEquity16
#HealthMatters
#IHMayDay (all years)
#IHMayDay 2014
#IHMayDay15
#IHMayday16
#IHMayDay17
#IHMayDay18
#LoveRural 2014
Croakey Conference News Service 2013 – 2019
2013 conferences
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation Forum 2013
Australian Health Promotion Association Conference 2013
Closing the Credibility Gap 2013
CRANAplus Conference 2013
FASD Conference 2013
Health Workforce Australia 2013
International Health Literacy Network Conference 2013
NACCHO Summit 2013
National Rural Health Conference 2013
Oceania EcoHealth Symposium 2013
PHAA conference 2013
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014