The Story of cholera. Short animated film explaining how to prevent the spread of Cholera.
Great video: US vet and school boy talk about rabies. Note: Australian animals have not been shown to carry rabies, and therefore animals are not routinely vaccinated against the virus. Lyssavirus, which is a close relative of the rabies virus, does occur in the Australian bat population. This virus was first discovered in 1996 but does not seem to be able to spread to terrestrial mammals. Handling bats should be avoided.
Tonight I participated in an online forum discussion about the use of an alias in social networks. It’s an interesting topic, causing heated debates when Google+ started its real name policy.
It’s often said that the core values of social media are openness, connecting, and sharing. Social media is also about maintaining and building a network of relationships between people, not just about exchanging (anonymous) opinions.
The negative side of social media is that it sometimes causes people to reveal more information than they should - especially sharing of inappropriate photos, rigid political views or other people’s personal or sensitive information. Unfortunately this can inadvertently happen to all of us, but it is easier to cross the line when people are not using their real names.
To mitigate risks and enjoy the benefits of social media at the same time a good social media policy is required. The Queensland business guidelines for social media say: “Always identify yourself. Whenever you write about your business, use your real name, identify your business and be clear about your role. If you have a vested interest in what you are discussing, be the first to say so.”
I think it’s good practice for health professionals to use their real names when talking about health related topics. If it is not possible for a health professional to share information without hiding behind an alias, it should probably not be shared at all.
It looks like Twitter is a useful tool to assist in detecting disease outbreaks around the globe.
A study published earlier this week in The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene showed that informal data about the 2010 Haitian cholera outbreak, including tweets, correlated closely with official health sources AND was available up to 2 weeks earlier!
It’s amazing if you think about it: Twitter seems to be able to detect and monitor infectious disease outbreaks, check the world’s mood, and predict a range of other trends - like how often a scientific article will be quoted by others. Doctor Twitter keeps a finger on the pulse of the global community!
I am looking forward to 2012 and the many, yet to discover ways in which we can use social media in health care.
It seems like social media are becoming more popular within the health profession. Most medical students, registrars and younger docs are ‘connected’, often via their smartphones. But it’s not only the younger age groups that show an interest in social media. And it’s not just about social chitchat either. I see all age groups on Twitter, mostly exchanging links to medical websites, articles, latest health news and developments within areas of interest and specialties.
And the word spreads fast on Twitter: by the time news hits the papers, the Twitter community is already aware. No wonder Twitter has proven itself as the go-to service in case of emergencies and disasters.
Still, there are doctors hesitating. Issues like privacy and time limitations are concerns. However, in my opinion social media are not the right place to discuss patient cases. On average I spend half an hour per day on Twitter reading the latest about research & technology, disease outbreaks and health in general. I know people that don’t spend more than 10 minutes per day on social media.
Twitter is a useful tool for medical organisations and professional bodies. A brilliant example of how to create a social media presence can be seen on the CDC website: If you’d like to get inspired, have a look here.
I mainly use Twitter professionally, to stay up to date. Since I’ve been on Twitter - for about 6 months now - I have learned heaps, read articles and found information that I otherwise wouldn’t have access to. When it comes to travel health, the new #tvlmed hashtag is a source of useful information. Sarah Kohl (@TravelReadyMD) and I have recently started the Travel Medicine Daily. This newsletter is generated automatically by paper.li and makes a selection from all links shared on Twitter via #tvlmed. Have a look at today’s edition here: http://t.co/FZyCBM4 Feel free to contribute; just add #tvlmed to your tweets. David Corbet (@corbetron) suggested that I also mention the list of travel health providers on Twitter - thanks David! - so here it is: http://bit.ly/jduovi Please let me know if I have missed someone (very likely) and I will add you to the list!