Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Health 2.0 Makes it to Twitter

I knew this was coming, but could not have predicted that it would happen so soon. I have 2 examples of the business of medicine actually taking place within twitter. I just had to share my excitement.

Case #1
A colleague here at the hospital told me about this one. What is happening here is a Doctor in South Africa is at bedside asking a Doctor in India for real time assistance with a diagnosis. From other correspondence he has with this doctor in India, it is clear that he knows him personally and/or professionally, so he is a trusted source from the requestor's position.

From the message it sounds like he was probably bedside, maybe in a rural area. If you follow the stream it ends there. I expect that if the doctor replied it was probably in the form of a direct message. Which is a private message between 2 twitter users.

My colleague said that "if this was not a first, it was among the first time that he has seen this happen." Especially in places where you might not have access to experts. The personal relationships you develop could extend all the way to the bedside, no matter where the bedside is.

Case #2
This one may be a little contriversial, but there is no doubt in it's effectiveness. A researcher in her process of tweeting about what she is doing in the process of her work day. She mentions that she is looking for study participants. She is not cohersive, she mentions no less, no more.

Let me first say that it is clear that she is still a new twitter user. She has very few followers. Also, from what I can tell, no one re-tweeted this information. Despite that, right away someone who fits the criteria thanks her for the information and signs up for the study.

Clearly there is potential here. I am excited to keep watching to see how this develops. If you have any good examples of the business of medicine happening in twitter, please share. Thank's to both of these twitterers for seeing the possiblities and testing the envelope.

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