Matthew Holt

Health 2.0 Tools: The power of Twitter

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The power of Twitter is real kids, and not for what you think. Used properly Twitter is an information filter. Exhibit A is what happened to the Von Schwebers who run PHARMASurveyor. They were a huge part of the Tools Panel which featured interoperation among 8 members of the Health 2.0 Accelerator at Health 2.0 a couple of weeks back. Then last week they were at an AHRQ conference on Drug Interactions when this happened. Erick von Schweber’s email picks up the story ..

The Chief Medical Officer of Express Scripts is doing his talk, about halfway through, and then tells this rather academic audience of scientists and researchers that there’s something new they need to attend to. It’s called Health 2.0, he says, and he puts up a PowerPoint slide with screen captures from WebMD, HealthVault, Healthline, DoubleCheckMD, etc. Then he tells the audience that the prior week he saw tweets about something new in the space, so he checked it out. He says this is the next major leap ahead in drug safety. So up comes a series of four slides, all screen grabs of PharmaSURVEYOR. And he calls us the Accelerator and explains what we do, disclaiming that he had no knowledge that we’d be there at the conference (I had moderated that morning’s session on making DDI evidence more relevant to patients and physicians; Hansten and Horn were my speakers, the guys who introduced the term “drug interaction” in the mid-sixties). He tells the audience that they must go to PharmaSURVEYOR as well as begin thinking in terms of consumer generated healthcare.

Now it just so happens that the Chief Scientist of Express Scripts but not the Chief Medical Officer had been to Health 2.0 and (I assume) seen the Tools panel demonstrations. But, and this will amaze no one, busy executives at big corporations don’t always immediately communicate all of their learnings with each other. So how did the Chief Medical Officer find out? He probably saw a re-tweet of the #health2con hash tag. That, ladies’n’genelmen, is how our kids is learning these days.

And do you want to see the incredible tools panel from Health 2.0 which contained both the accelerator integration project (in two parts), the debut of Keas, and Eliza showing the first Health 2.0 marriage? Funny you should ask.

6 replies »

  1. Twitter does have some blemishes, but all that can be worked out. I definitely know that Twitter has helped our Health IT blog by introducing and getting the blog recognized by other interested readers. Social networking definitely is beneficial for any company.

  2. I agree with Wellescent Health that while Twitter has serious potential, it also (in it’s current form) has several roadblocks which prevent users from getting and (and spreading) the information they want. Twitter is making steps to improve its functionality by adding lists, but still has a ways to go…

  3. At this point, I am not yet seeing twitter as much of a filter, but I do see the potential. There seems to be so much spam on the service and some tweeting is so prolific that it swamps other less frequent but still legitimate content. However, if these technical obstacles can be overcome, then it will definitely achieve the goal of near instantaneous spread of ideas.
    I don’t offer the retweet tab on my blog just yet as I am not yet convinced…

  4. Love your blog and especially the information on tech. As we started a community for telehealth professionals If you like to check it out, also would you be interested in writing a guest blog there?

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