Interested in Twitter in Medicine?

Who knew one-third of conference participants for AAHPM (the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine), 1400 of 3000+ attendees, would “live tweet” last month’s Annual Assembly? Why did they do that? What did they talk about?

In real-time they posted key points, links to presentation documents, and pertinent publications. They broadcast congrats to new awardees and even relayed their organizational tips such as how to join special interest groups. As a whole, those involved also brought a positive flavor to their network, even those who didn’t attend:

Twitter replacement

As analytic people, you may be surprised at the detail from stats about Twitter. For example, want to know the top 10 “most mentioned” on Twitter for this AAHPM conference? @atul_gawande was one, @tomleblancmd from Duke another.

GIM AAPHM tweet screenshot


Those 1400 at AAHPM accounted for an amazing 16,000 tweets and over 23 million “impressions” (is that fuzzy math? It’s the # tweets x # followers, so a person with many followers makes this total huge). It’s like a highway billboard, not everyone sees it, but there are many more opportunities for others to see the signposts along the road.

On the other hand, when challenged to use Twitter along with the 500 million others around the world with these free accounts, many would say Twitter is basically narcissistic, an echo chamber, and yet another message stream, another distraction, even a risk for our reputation.

However, with Twitter, we no longer need to create lists and bookmarks, those we “follow” on Twitter send us the news.  And, besides that, tweets are concise. Readers can readily scan the news, search, save, forward, even reply and “favorite” someone’s tweet.

More on Twitter basics with each issue of eNews before our own annual conference, SGIM 2015 in Toronto, April 22-25.