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Using Twitter in healthcare

In Web 2.0 & all that on March 13, 2009 by Alan Lovell Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Phil Baumann has put up 140 Health Care Uses for Twitter, for anyone out there strange enough to think that Twitter might actually be useful. Some make more sense (to me) than others. I like, for example::

- Diabetes management (blood glucose tracking)
- Maintaining a personal health diary
- Adverse event reporting and other pharmacovigilance functions
- Biomedical device data capture and reporting
- Nutritional diary and tracking
- Product/food safety alerts

Some are hopelessly optimistic or vague or other, better channels already exist:
- Hospital administration
- Childcare support
- Connecting genetic researchers with physicians
- Publishing the latest advances in biomedical devices

And some are rather surreal:
- Exchanging physician humor (we’re all human)

And one I’m really not so sure about is “Issuing doctor’s orders”… it’s not as if they have any trouble doing that anyway. All in all though it’s a good list that should generate some thought about how Twitter, our favourite web2.0 app, can be applied in healthcare.

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5 Responses to “Using Twitter in healthcare”

  1. Alan,

    Glad you enjoyed the post. Of course some of the uses are stretches. Some of the uses can’t be implemented due to HIPAA & other restraints, but at least a discussion is underway on how to creatively use micro-sharing services.

    Agree about the vague uses. However, having worked in clinical settings, doctors issuing orders in such a way actually makes some sense (under certain circumstances).

    Micro-sharing has a place in health care. Time will tell, exactly where it will go.

  2. Glad someone has given so much thought to Twitter in medicine and has come up with a list!

    I like the surveys one and Psychiatric “check-ins” for patients–of course it isn’t a private forum, but in the future it could grow to encompass 1-to-1 chats or off the record communication. I like the depression buddy system too.

  3. Phil,

    As Danielle says, I’m simply impressed that you’ve come up with a bunch of so many good potential uses! If it was me I might have come up with 1.4 uses, certainly not 14 uses, but 140 uses… wow. Good work.

    Time will, as you point out, tell. I imagine there will be much initial excitement, followed by lots of new schemes, 90% of which will fail or just fade away, leaving us with 10% of good systems that get incorporated into mainstream practice. It seems to be the way of things.

  4. Alan,

    I recently got my hands on phil’s list. I have yet to go through all of them. I would like to bring to your attention a healthcare twitter app that we have developed. The app increases information availability of clinical trials. You QuTweet (query tweets pronounced cute-tweets) us at TrialX (@trialx), put in the keyword “CT” (for Clinical Trial) followed by your health profile. In about a minute we’ll send you a reply tweet with a tinyurl link to the TrialX page containing matching FDA approved trials as per your QuTweet.

  5. [...] Thorman, Phil Baumann, twitter A few months ago I wrote a short post on Phil Baumann’s 140 healthcare uses for Twitter. Well, Chris Thorman over on Software Advice has written a longer piece on the potential of Twitter [...]

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