Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Why do I like Google+ even in Medicine?

Why do I like Google+ even in Medicine?.

Blog posting  by Dr. Bertalan Meskó in Science Roll: A doctor’s journey in genetics PhD and medicine through Web 2.0


I’ve been playing around Google+ for the last couple of days and I have to admit it I really love it. Why? I’ve been using Facebook as a source of professional information but I have to add those people I like to follow as friends even if in most cases we are not friends. A few reasons why I useGoogle+ now for this purpose.

  • In Google+, we can easily create circles and start following people who we are not friends with.
  • It’s easy to determine who can see the information I share (everyone, only circles, only people in my contact list)
  • All Google tools are integrated.
  • I can search for people with specific words in their biographiesthrough Google.
  • I can use Spark for following expressions.
  • It might make it simpler to create private circles so then medical communication can take place.
  • I can see the notifications even in GMail or GDocs.

This is a real professional networking site, while Facebook is just a playground for friends.

For more details and tricks, here is the Complete Google Plus Cheat Sheetinfographics.

A Medical Librarian’s take on Google+ 

Excerpts from the Krafty Librarian blog item – More on G+

I am on Google+ and I am not sure if I like it.  I am sporadically kicking the tires, testing it out.

Here are some reasons I like it:

  • I like having everything Google together.  Iam not sure if I like how it brings up another window when I click the links to my email, calendar, docs, etc. on the Google bar, but I am not sure what work better.
  • I like the idea of Hangout, but I can only use it at home because it requires me to install a Google plugin and I don’t have a microphone or camera on my work computer.  I can see it being used for web conferencing and other professional things.  I tried Hangout one weekend but nobody in my Circles were hanging out so I really couldn’t test it.  I think I would Hangout more if I could do it on my phone.  I would also like to know if I could Hangout with people outside of my circle.  For example, I would like to attend topical Hangouts but I may not want to add those people to my circles.
  • Setting up your circles is much more intuitive and easier than setting up friend lists in Facebook.  It is really easy to do, you can click multiple people, drag and drop and easily create new circles.  The Facebook friends lists were always something sort of hidden.
  • Posts, it automatically and easily asks you who (which circles) you want your wall posts to be seen by.  In Facebook you have to play around with the post defaults and friend lists and remember to hit the arrow to change things when you don’t want a wall post to be seen by your default group.

Some of the things I don’t like:

  • Not enough people.  Yeah all of my geek friends are on it, but nobody else.  One family member is on it but he is always playing with cutting edge stuff.  So in order to share things online with family and friends, I still have to go onto Facebook since the majority of my non-geek friends are not on G+. I don’t like going to different places to share information (one reason I am rarely on LinkedIn), so I don’t see myself using it until/unless more of my regular friends join.
  • +1 button is confusing, until you know it is just Google’s version of Like.  After that it is just as boring as the Like button.  I would have liked it if you could hit the +1 button and then comment on the item or person’s comment……..

July 22, 2011 Posted by | Librarian Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

Growing Knowledge: The Evolution of Research (A Unique Public Debate Site)

Growing Knowledge: The Evolution of Research (British Library)

[From the About Page] “Showcasing some never-seen-before research tools, thought-provoking content and futuristic design in as fully interactive research environment, Growing Knowledge aims to challenge our audiences on how research is changing and ask what they want to experience from the library of the future.”

All are welcome to be part of the conversations and  ongoing discussions through surveys, blogs, and Twitter.
Scholars, information science specialists, and other commentators are part of the conversations, a unique feature among online science discussions open to all.

Current Projects are library, scientist, and information science based, as the British Library Search Catalog,  Nature Network, and the Journal of Visualized Experiments.



“This website has engaging and thoughtful conversations about what research will be like in the coming years and decades, and that’s what won us over at the Scout Report. The conversations with scholars, information science specialists, and other commentators distinguish this site from others. Visitors are encouraged to chime in via the Twitter feed here and they can also follow posts by “Researcher in Residence” Aleks Krotoski. Also, don’t miss the “Explore the Projects” area where people can have management research updates sent right to their desktop.
How will research change and evolve in the 21st century? It’s a broad question, and the British Library has created this website to offer insight into the world of innovative research tools. First-time visitors will want to watch the video on the homepage that features commentary by various scholars and professionals on “The Modern Library”, “Information Overload”, and “Digital Research”. All of the offerings on the website complement an existing in situ exhibit that includes multimedia research stations and a “collaborative zone”. In the “Start Researching” area of the site, visitors can look at standout examples of recent collaborative digital projects that push the contemporary boundaries of research. Further along, visitors shouldn’t miss the “Tools” area which brings together high-quality online tools that can make the research process much easier and streamlined. Finally, the site is rounded out by a range of social media tools that users can use to stay on top of the latest posts and materials added to this site.

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

Solving the Online (Youth Health Information) Health Equity Problem

Pediatrician and public health expert Dr. Kishan Kariippanon believes that while computers and mobile phones are overall giving youth greater access to health information, they are creating health disparities.

For example, youth today are increasingly using the Internet to find information about their symptoms before doctor appointments.

Dr.  Kariippanon proposes five ways to reduce this health disparity gap at his blog posting Youth, Healthcare & Online Communication 

1. Create health information in video and audio format accessible via mobile phone in small bite sizes, i.e.Miwatj Health videos

2. Data and statistical information should be provided in visual format i.e. Hans Rosling’s Gapminder 
3. Health information needs to appeal to young people through contemporary design, innovative websites and the use of social networking sites i.e., Fully Sick Rapper (TB).

4. Youth drop in centres need to be redesigned to incorporate the creation of health resources for youth by youth in their core business, i.e. Studio 34

5. Youth organizations and drop in centres need to promote a service component in their youth programs that will allow young people to connect with each other through joint community development projects.


1. Gwen Van Servellen, Communication Skills for the Health Care Professional, Concepts, Practice and Evidence. 2nd Edition 2009.

May 10, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | , , , | 3 Comments

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

Health care hashtags – a social project to organize tweets

Have you noticed that some twitter messages include hastags (as “#baseball”)? These symbols are entered by tweeters to identify the subjects of their messages. So, if you search twitter with ” #baseball”, you will only get tweets that include include “#baseball ” and are about baseball.

The medical web site builder Fox epractice is proposing that health and medical hashtags be better organized for improved retrieval of twitter messages.

(Click here for a calendar of Health Tweet Chats!)

An excerpt from the Fox ePractice proposal

Since I started using Twitter I’ve felt that so many of us who wish to meet other people interested in healthcare and who wish to participate in the many healthcare related conversations have been kept apart because of what should be a common language … hashtags. With that in mind, we at Fox ePractice have embarked upon an ambitious project. One in which we are searching for the many Twitter hashtags that are in use that are specific to the field of healthcare, and to organize that data in some of the following ways …

**Allow exploration by either hashtag or healthcare subject matter.

**Show hashtags that are related to one another in the healthcare field.

**Demonstrate frequency of use of related hashtags so as to facilitate hashtag selection.

**Identify most frequent users and most frequent @mentions with each hashtag so as to find the influencers to follow on your healthcare topic of choice.

**Determine which healthcare hashtags overall are most popular at any given time.

**To provide a live feed of conversations related to each hashtag so as to easily explore what’s currently being shared on Twitter in your healthcare topic of choice.

**To encourage visitors to vote on which hashtags are most useful in hopes of bringing multiple conversations together. (example: #pediatric, #pediatrics, #pediatrician, #pediatricians)

Our hope is that we can lower the barriers of entry, decrease the learning curve, and enhance the experience of new users. But we’d also like to introduce experienced healthcare Twitter users to a fresh look, to new information, and to new people who share your passions.

We’re already working on future features based on some pre-release discussions with several well respected individuals in our Twitter healthcare community. Establishing methods for more visitor input that can be shared by others is high on our list. Also, while we’ve focused this initial release around the “business of healthcare”, in an upcoming phase we hope to include a complete disease index in this hashtag listing so as to help facilitate patient exploration as well.

This project is a work in progress … and literally always will be. It’s a controlled database, not a wiki, because we want to assure that every hashtag on the list has been vetted, has a level of critical mass, and that its relationships are well thought out. However, at the same time this is a “social project”, one in which we’re soliciting your input for the betterment of all.

So come step into the first official “HealthcareHashtags Project” … take it for a spin, let us know what you think, and help us to build a more well connected healthcare community.



February 23 2011 update

Twitter logo

End the Carpet Bombing of Twitter!


What’s the #Matter?

Twitter’s elegance and simplicity have changed the world. Unfortunately the overuse of hashtags is polluting Twitter.

What’s the #Fix?

Think before you tweet. If you must use hashtags, limit yourself to two per tweet. Consider what your Twitter stream looks like to your followers.

2hashtags is a pledge to keep Twitter a clean well-lighted place and as free of noise as possible by using no more than two hashtags per tweet.

December 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: