Twitter phenomenon is allover media and Blogosphere,So Healthcare should not be left behind!
This is my view on Twitter and its impact on Healthcare as of July 2009.We will have to wait and see how things shape up by the end of 2009.
1.Twitter may be taken over by a giant company-Google or Microsoft.
2.Twitter may be a featured on cover of TIme Magazine.
3.Twitter could have an impact on Health care industry.
According to Wikipedia sources
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read each others’ updates, known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters, displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to other users – known as followers – who have subscribed to them. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications. The service is free over the Internet, but using SMS may incur phone service provider fees.
Going back in time-in the good old day pagers dominated the world-as short messanger devices.Commonly known as Bleepers of Beeper,it was The tool of physicians in Hospitals,even now in many hospitals.
It helped to communicate with other health professionals in hospital setting and outside regarding status of a patient.Fast forward to present time-Cellphones and smartphones are the new tools for communication in hospital settings,although some hospitals still ban them considering that they interlace with hosptial based telemeteric systems.
Smartphones have revolutionzed our communications,in health care industry-personal digital assistants were once a standard tool for many physicians along with Stethoscopes and today Smart phones are gradually replacing them as necessary tools.
But,using these devices as standalone,will not benefit much for the care of patients,except for the physician,in that information retrival could be faster.Using an easy to use interface which benefits not only physicians and other health care professionals but also in long term helps patients should be the goal.
To achieve this goal an easy to use interface should be identified.Twitter is one such phenomenon.
its use in mainstream world is well documented,as seen in every day media reports and also in n number of blog posts.The twitter logo is ubiquitious now in almost,if not all over the blogosphere.
Dr.Micheal Lara in his post on How Physicians (Should) Use Twitter ,presents his balanced view on the subject of Twitter use among physicians.He believes that Twitter,should be used only for educational and non essential communication in hospitals and not for any critical communication about any patient.
But, Philbaumann has listed over 140 different applications of twitter in healthcare industry. His thoughts are that health care should be a leader in micro-sharing, not a lagger.
Although in between there are many other views on efficacy and benefits of Twitter,
Imagine this. Doctors around the world are conducting their rounds and examining patients on electronic medical records, which document diagnosis codes. As the physician makes a diagnosis or documents symptoms, he has the option to “tweet” that observation. This allows other doctors to follow that feed and observe trends. Even better, epidemiology-specific analytics can be layered on top of the feeds to recognize patterns as they develop.
Here is a fictionalized example of how analysis of a disease outbreak might unfold if doctors adopted Twitter as a method of communication: