Twitter can help spread the word on healthcare

Washington D.C, Jul 21 : A new study has shown the power of Twitter for sharing the physician-generated medical news. Over a 1-year period, academic cardiovascular physicians at the Mayo Clinic used a new Twitter account to share medical news and gained more than 1,200 followers, with tweets of original journal content garnering the greatest response. In the article 'An Academic Healthcare Twitter Account: The Mayo Clinic Experience,' R. Jay Widmer and coauthors presented data describing the gender and geographic distribution of their Twitter account's followers. The authors analysed the number of retweets, replies, favorites, engagements, and other interactions for their account using Sprinkler and Twitter Analytics. A survey of the participating Mayo Clinic cardiologists completed before initiating the Twitter account showed that less than 25 percent felt connected to colleagues outside their own institution, and nearly 85 percent viewed social media as a deterrent to productivity and a distraction at work. "As clinicians become more web-savvy, Twitter may serve a useful purpose to suggest interesting, relevant articles and conferences to those who struggle with time constraints," said Editor-in-Chief Brenda K. Wiederhold. The article appears in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.