Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Webicina – free access to curated online medical resources in social media for patients and medical professionals in over 15 languages.

Webicina provides curated medical social media resources in over 80 medical topics in over 17 languages.
It is now also available through a free iPhone application and also a free Android application 

Webicina is a free resource, with entry points at the home page for medical professionals and empowered patients

The topics for medical professionals are constantly being added. At this time they include oncology, bioinformatics, dermatology, emergency medicine, genetics, nutrition, public health, and surgery.
The topics or empowered patients are also constantly being added. At this time they include allergy, sleep, diabetes, fitness, stem cells, weight loss, and transplantation.

Each topic includes Web sites in the following areas, from carefully chosen reputable sites

  • News and Information
  • Blogs (websites with regular entries commonly organized in a reverse chronological order)
  • Podcasts (Audio files which one can download for immediate or future listening)
  • Community sites (including related Facebook groups and other forums)
  • Twitter and Friendfeed
  • Videos
  • Mobile phones (apps and software for smartphones)
  • search engines (more focused than Google, Yahoo, Bing…)
  • Slideshows
  • Clinical resources (medical professional section only — includes clinical cases and imaging)
Wish to keep up to date with just portions of Webicina?
Check out and sign up at the PeRSSonalized Medicine page (you may have to select a language)


August 1, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mayo Clinic Community And Additional Online Health Communities/Support Groups

Mayo Clinic currently uses social media tools as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
Blogs include Podcast Blog , News Blog, and Sharing Mayo Clinic blog for patients and employees to share their Mayo Clinic stories.

Connect with others who've been there. Welcome to Mayo Clinic's free online health community.

Mayo Clinic’s Center for Social Media has recently launched the Mayo Clinic Community  to connect people who have been through the Mayo Clinic experience with others facing a similar health concern.

The Mayo Clinic Community is free and open to all, whether or not one is or was a Mayo Clinic patient.

This online community includes content from various Mayo Clinic blogs,health and medical videos from Mayo’s YouTube channel and links to news articlesabout Mayo Clinic research and treatment advances. It also features a discussion forum where members can connect with others who have similar interests or concerns.

 

Additional Online Health Communities/Support Groups

  • Self-Help Group SourceBook Online
    A starting point for finding every type of national, international, model and online self-help support group that is available starting point for finding every type of national, international, model and online self-help support group that is available. (MentalHelp.net)
  • MedlinePlus 
    Search with a phrase as “support groups” cancer or select a Health topic and select an organization.
  • Medpedia communities
    This site allows people with common health interests to share information and communicate. Anyone may create a community of interest and anyone may join.Medpedia is an open platform connecting people and information to advance medicine. Users include health care professionals, health care organizations, expert lay persons, students, and scientists.
  • MedHelp International
         This online health community which not only provides health information but helps patients actively manage their health through online personal health records andMedhelp trackers (iphone friendly options).
    The People option allows one to search by a disease or condition to find related information (including symptoms, treatments, resources). One can also view postings and blogs by other members and interact with them.
    Medical experts helps users by answering questions in Ask-an-Expert forums, participating in conversations with members in free live health chats, and sharing their knowledge and the latest news in blogs

July 14, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Pharma on Facebook / Google+ in Medicine and Pharma?

From the 8th July Pharmaphorum blog posting by Wendy Blackburn

There’s been much discussion around the pharmaceutical industry’s use of social media, especially Facebook. Is it worth the risk for pharma to engage in this uncontrolled space? Will consumers really “like” a medication in a place where they’re more likely to play Farmville? And what options does pharma have considering Facebook’s recently-announced policy changes?…

[The post goes on to say there are at least 150 pharmaceutical related Facebook pages , including those by corporations, brands (those dedicated to a single presription drug), unbranded pages (usually centered around a condition as diabetes), and those including games and/or applications.]

[The article goes on to discuss the legalities and Facebook policies concerning comments at pharma Facebook pages.]

[Some excerpts]

Facebook changes the game for pharma

“Starting today, Facebook will no longer allow admins of new pharma pages to disable commenting on the content their page shares with people on Facebook,” Facebook told pharmas in a May 17 email posted by Intouch Solutions on its blog. “Pages that currently have commenting disabled will no longer have this entitlement after August 15th. Subject to Facebook’s approval, branded pages solely dedicated to a prescription drug may (continue to) have commenting functionality removed.”

– Medical Marketing & Media Magazine….

For companies that decide they still want to be on Facebook, there are a number of options:

1. 24/7 monitoring and moderation or a “community management” model

2. Moderation applications that place a temporary “hold” on comments prior to publication

3. Branded Facebook pages, where Facebook will still allow comment disabling

4. Personal representation or company “spokesperson”

5. Advertising

6. Word filters


Google+ in Medicine and Pharma? 

From the 14 July 2011 Science Roll item
There have been some articles and blog entries lately focusing on whether Google+ could be used in medicine or pharma. I’ve been trying to use it more actively in the past couple of days and it’s still a question for me to figure out whether I should separate my professional Facebook and Google+ activities. A few comments from fellow bloggers:

Could Google+ be Pharma’s Answer to Social Media Marketing?

“Google launched a beta version of its own social network just a couple of days ago, Google+.  While many news reports over the past day or so  suggest that Google+ offers some great features, most also suggest that the network is probably no reason for people to abandon their FaceBook page as an alternative.

However, could Google+ offer a FaceBook alternative for pharma companies?  “…..

[Click here for the rest of the Science Roll article]

Google+ is a social media site (currently in beta & for invited users only) similar to Facebook.

An introductory video, review….

July 12, 2011 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , | Leave a comment

HowTo.gov : Helping Agencies Deliver a Great Customer Experience

HowTo.gov is a website to help government workers who manage or support
a government customer service channel (call center, web site, etc.)
deliver a better customer experience to citizens.
Includes info on web content and design, communicating using social
media, managing call centers, writing content, etc.

June 14, 2011 Posted by | Librarian Resources | , , | Leave a comment

Social Media Has Benefits And Risks For Kids

Social Media Has Benefits And Risks For Kids

From the March 28 2011 Health News Today item

While social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube bring benefits to children and teenagers, such as helping them develop communication and technical skills, they can also expose them to danger and risk, such as cyberbullying and depression, according to a new report written by American pediatricians.

The report, which appears in the April issue of Pediatrics, [free full text] the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), says doctors are in an ideal position to encourage children to use social media in a healthy way, and to help parents and families understand and engage with their use of social media while also monitoring for potential problems….

…The report does much to stress the benefits of social media, such as developing communication skills, facilitating social interaction and improving technical competence. Other benefits include helping young people find opportunities to link up with community activity like volunteering, and helping them attain a sense of identity…
…A Common Sense Media Poll in 2009 found that more than half of American teenagers log onto their favorite social media site at least once a day, while 22% do so at least ten times a day.

75% of teenagers now own cellphones, with 54% of them using them for texting, 24% for instant messaging, and 25% for social media access.

The growth of social media has been so rapid and their presence in children’s everyday life is now so pervasive, that:

“For some teens and tweens, social media is the primary way they interact socially, rather than at the mall or a friend’s house,” report co-author Dr Gwenn O’Keeffe told the press.

“Parents need to understand these technologies so they can relate to their children’s online world – and comfortably parent in that world,” urged O’Keeffe.

O’Keeffe and colleagues point out that a significant part of young people’s social and emotional development now occurs while they are using the Internet or on their cellphones.

March 29, 2011 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Media: A Guide for Researchers

Social Media: A Guide for Researchers


From the March 1 2011 Resource Shelf item

The International Center for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby has produced a social media guide to help researchers understand the range of social media tools. The 48-page guide has links to a variety of resources including academic and research blogs and collaboration tools. Also included are case studies profiling ten researchers and their use of social media.

From Research Information Network:

One of the most important things that researchers do is to find, use and disseminate information, and social media offers a range of tools which can facilitate this. The guide discusses the use of social media for research and academic purposes and will not be examining the many other uses that social media is put to across society.

Social media can change the way in which you undertake research, and can also open up new forms of communication and dissemination. It has the power to enable researchers to engage in a wide range of dissemination in a highly efficient way.

Contents include

Web materials 1: Links and resources

Audio and video tools
Blogging and Microblogging tools
Examples of academic and research blogs
Social networking services
Location based tools
Social bookmarking, news and social citation tools
Research and writing collaboration tools
Presentation sharing tools
Project management, meeting and collaboration tools
Information management tools
Virtual worlds

You can access the full list of the above resources here, or download below.

Web materials 2: Researcher case studies

The guide is rooted in the practical experience of its authors and that of the ten social media users that we interviewed as part of the project.  You can read their individual case studies below:

March 2, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

Physicians on Twitter

Physicians on Twitter

From the Dr. Shock MD PhD Blog

In the latest issue of the JAMA the results of a survey is published. The authors did a search on physicians using twitter. They extracted the public profile pages of the physicians using twitter with 500 or more followers between May 1 and May 31, 2010. They analyzed the tweets of these professionals.

Of the 5156 tweets analyzed, 49% (2543) were health or medical related, 21% (1082) were personal communications, 14% (703) were retweets, and 58% (2965) contained links. Seventy-three tweets (1%) recommended a medical product or proprietary service, 634 (12%) were self-promotional, and 31 (1%) were related to medical education.

But what is somewhat worrying were their findings of potential patient privacy violations andconflicts of interest. Thirty-eight tweets (0.7%) represented potential patient privacy violations, of the 27 users responsible for these privacy violations 25 were identifiable by full name on the profile, by photo or link to their personal website. Twelve tweets were about a product they were selling on their Web site or repeatedly promoting specific health products, 10 were statements about treatments not supported by the official guidelines.

Using social media by physicians does broadcast useful medical information, unprofessional content in tweets by physicians is rare.
Chretien KC, Azar J, & Kind T (2011). Physicians on twitter. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 305 (6), 566-8 PMID: 21304081 ***

*** The abstract of this article may be found here.

For suggestions on how to get the full text of this article (letter to the editor) for free or at low cost, click here

 

 

February 16, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FEMA will use social media through all stages of a disaster

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Image via Wikipedia

FEMA will use social media through all stages of a disaster

From the next.gov article

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is set up to use Twitter at all stages of a disaster, before the event strikes, during the event and after, Administrator Craig Fugate tells Nextgov.

The agency maintains a Twitter page with just under 30,000 followers, and the administrator himself has a personal page, CraigatFEMA, with almost 6,600 followers.

Before a forecast storm hits, today’s FEMA can monitor local weather reports and Tweets to advise the public in the affected area. On Tuesday, for example, the agency issued a message about a winter storm likely to hit Oklahoma, New Mexico and North Texas through Wednesday. The agency instructed its followers to be sure to follow the affected state’s emergency management offices: “Another #winterstorm for OK, north TX & New Mexico tonight/tmrw. Prepare at http://go.usa.gov/akw & follow @okem @txdps @NMDHSEM.”

Fugate said his agency is careful to rely only on official information, such as forecasts from the National Weather Service and links from official emergency management agencies. “It’s really important I don’t try to pose as a weather service,” he said.

The agency also uses social media to anticipate what a state might need to prepare for a predicted disaster. For example, as Hurricane Earl moved up the East Coast in September 2010, Fugate could see by monitoring Twitter that tourists on North Carolina’s Outer Banks were evacuating, but many long-term residents were adamant about staying put. That gave the agency a heads-up that there would be people left on the barrier islands, and search and rescue plans were readied.

During an event, FEMA looks for what people are saying on Twitter by tracking the service’s hash tags***, which an eventual consensus of users assigns to mark a given event. During the major snow and ice storm that moved across the United States in early February, the most commonly used hash tag was #snomg……

Here is an explanation of Twitter hashtags (from Twitter)

Definition: The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

Hashtags: helping you find interesting Tweets

  • People use the hashtag symbol # before relevant keywords in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets to show more easily in Twitter Search.
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets in that category.
  • Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet.
  • Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.

Example: Below, @VegNews added the hashtag before the word “vegan” in their message. The word is now a link to search results for all Tweets containing “#vegan” in the message.

Screen_shot_2010-07-26_at_3.21.34_PM.png

Using hashtags

  • If Tweet with a hashtag on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your Tweet.
  • Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Don’t over-tag a single Tweet. (Best practicesrecommend using no more than 3 hashtags per Tweet.)
  • Use hashtags only on Tweets relevant to the topic.

Further Discovery and Reading

  • The third party site hashtag.org offers an overview of popular hashtags used on Twitter. Find out about trends, look at small, pretty graphs, and search to see if the hashtags of your fantasies exist.
  • You may also want to read this article about hashtags, which appeared in The New Yorker magazine.

February 10, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Safety | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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