December 2017
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Where Social Media dazzles for Healthcare

Adding pictures to a tweet is a wonderful function of Twitter, but did you know that medical professionals and patients are tweeting pictures of their x-rays?

Adding pictures to a tweet is a wonderful function of Twitter, but did you know that medical professionals and patients are tweeting pictures of their x-rays?

ICTpost Social Media Bureau

Twitter is supporting engagement for all sorts of stakeholders in healthcare. It’s easy-to-use and quick search interface embodies useful traits

There are innumerable health stories emerging on Twitter, along with countless hospitals, health providers, policy wonks, and clinicians tweeting about global medical news stories and local community health events. Boehringer-Ingelheim, the German pharmaceutical company, was the first pharmaceutical manufacturer to use Twitter to broadcast its annual meeting live, in both German and English. Physicians, healthcare marketers, and hospitals are all using Twitter as a means of establishing themselves as authorities in the healthcare field.  Whether it’s engaging with other experts in the field, or creating captivating content, Twitter is being used to put an authoritative stamp on things.

Twitter, the increasingly popular social networking tool that was at first merely a convenient way to stay in touch with friends and family, is emerging as a potentially valuable means of real-time, on-the-go communication of healthcare information and medical alerts

Some Examples

Are you a medical specialist and have an extra 20 minutes in your afternoon?  What better way to spend them, then engaging with your Twitter followers.  Q and A sessions are a regular occurrence on Twitter.
Hospitals have begun to tweet surgical procedures live on Twitter. This is a way for institutions to make the most of teachable moments as well as promote the hospital’s technical competency in breakthrough areas.

SugarStats, a diabetic support service, integrates with Twitter to help people track diabetes via Twitter.
The amount of community displayed via Twitter is amazing.  Relationships are nurtured between doctors and patients, physician and physician, patient and patient, etc.  The healthcare community is using Twitter to inform, connect, and to help.

Public Health
When the H1N1 swine flu epidemic erupted, tweets immediately signaled to the public  in real time where initial breakouts were happening. On April 28, 2016, swine flu-related posts on Twitter exceeded 17,000 an hour, according to a study by ICTpost.

Dialogue- Twitter is being used to open up dialogue throughout the healthcare community.  Patients are able to shoot one off questions to their healthcare providers about aliments and receive feedback from medical staff in the blink of an eye. Patients and doctors are using Twitter to track trends in the medical world, track notifications from the Center of Disease Control, and track a variety of safety related information.  The use of hashtags has made tracking information extremely easy and useful.

Adding pictures to a tweet is a wonderful function of Twitter, but did you know that medical professionals and patients are tweeting pictures of their x-rays?  Being able to analyze an x-ray via a picture may not be the most ideal situation, but it can help in receiving a second opinion or an initial consultation with a specialist.

The use of social media and Internet-based outlets such as Twitter to communicate medical information requires a high degree of caution, however, to preserve confidentiality and patient privacy in the clinical care setting, and to ensure that information sources are accurate, reliable, and current.

Twitter is not THE answer to social media.  It is, however, a powerful addition to any healthcare organization’s social media strategy.  When used appropriately, Twitter can exponentially raise awareness about research, case studies, new initiatives, and news.  In conclusion,  we can say that by spending a couple of minutes a day, we can gain a tremendous amount of knowledge and develope a wealth of new connections with some people doing some amazing work in healthcare technology.

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