Medical conversations are happening on Twitter, not Facebook When Twitter initially launched I was largely skeptical on how it could be utilized in medicine.  Initially I thought Facebook was a better option due to the ability to use more than 140 characters. Over time though, it has become clear the medical conversations are happening on Twitter, not Facebook. An example of this is when we highlighted the #FOAMed movement — Free Open ...

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Hidden amongst all the intense media coverage surrounding Facebook’s IPO, there was a news item that was covered so briefly that if you blinked you may have missed it: Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, took a trip to Japan and during this visit told Japan’s Prime Minister that the terrible Tsunami that had struck the country in 2011 had inspired him to find ways that the social network could help people ...

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The General Medical Council in Britain released new guidelines on social media for medicine. Essentially, if you are a doctor in the United Kingdom the GMC does not believe that you should be able to tweet/blog/post anonymously if you self-identify as a physician. The exact wording is as follows: "If you identify yourself as a doctor in publicly accessible social media, you should also identify yourself by name. Any material ...

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How Edward Snowden and PRISM affect health care social media Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing on the NSA’s PRISM program raises some interesting questions regarding social media in healthcare. I had a few physicians both inside and outside of the community I manage ask, “Is the government watching what I say about my clinical experiences?” The answer is of course “Not yet,” but the sentiment weighs heavier than the question, and the weeklong dip ...

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As some 30,000 doctors, patient advocates, healthcare companies and journalists descended on Chicago for ASCO, there was a great deal of anticipation about what new research would be presented, and what kind of conversation and controversy might arise as a result. That anticipation, it turns out, requires some patience, filtering, and a really big net.  In fact, the amount of clinical data available in oncology has increased exponentially over the last ...

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We've all been hearing about the cool app Snapchat, which allows people to send pictures and videos that only last a few seconds before disappearing. Because of the disappearing thing, the worry that I keep reading about is that teens will use it for sexting, figuring that it's no problem if they take sexy pictures or videos, because they won't last. Now I worry about sexting as much as anybody else ...

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You’ve heard all of the advice about backing up your computer regularly, making sure that you have your passwords stored in a safe place, protecting yourself against digital identity theft, but what does that have to do with providing care for a person with special needs? Let’s count the ways. First: Resources. Much of the information you need is online, and your personalized data may be password-protected. Anyone who has ever been ...

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A few weeks ago I was following an online discussion conducted by a widely followed health site. During the discussion, they had a physician who was giving out wellness advice to users via Twitter. That physician had one tweet in particular that terrified me. Why you shouldnt give medical advice on Twitter Why you shouldnt give medical advice on Twitter As the above screenshot shows, one tweet mentioned that when in doubt regarding ...

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The position paper from the American College of Physicians and the Federation of State Medical Boards, is a humbling reminder of the challenges that today's physicians face when entering the online space. Their recommendations for online medical professionalism, written by ethics committees for the two organizations, "provides recommendations about the influence of social media on the patient–physician relationship, the role of these media in public perception of physician behaviors, and strategies for physician–physician ...

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How should doctors behave online? This is a funny question, isn’t it? Medical establishment loves rules and hierarchy. Social media does not. Social media levels the playing field of who gets to talk; it gives real caregivers a voice. That’s very cool. This is just a guess, but I suspect there are many more acts left to play out in the healthcare social media play. The American College of Physicians and the Federation ...

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