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Social Media and Medical Practice


The image above depicts a device that ‘tweets’ when the fetus kicks .When a father makes a gadget for his unborn son, that’s true dedication. Corey Menscher designed and built the Kickbee for his pregnant wife. The baby kicks her stomach, a piezo sensor reads it and another module twitters the response for all to see (might this be a mechanism for cardiac monitoring at home, with instantaneous notification to the physician ?  Twitter has an wireless API for smartphones as well.

If you have any children under the age of 35 you must be aware of the influence of social media in their daily lives.  Young women no longer chatter endlessly on their phones, and have developed larger calluses on their thumbs.  I even imagine hand surgeons and orthopedic surgeons finding new syndromes,  named ‘Texting Tendinitis” or “SMS Synovitis”

Those over age 45 may be exposed as their young adult kids come home or perhaps your family may follow each other on twitter or facebook.

Perhaps you have been buried in patients and/or the EMR decision making process.  M.U.+ incentives + ACOs + Health Reform = Headache.

Health Train Express this week will be featuring a series of articles on social media, where it has been, where it is now, and where it is forecast to be by the heavy venture capitalists of IT.

Part I    What is Social Media?

a. Email:  We can use AOLs  original  “You’ve got Mail !” as a starting point.

b. IM, or instant messaging

c. Chat rooms

d. Blogs

e. Facebook, twitter and other platforms that use more sophisticated APIs. operating independently and on their own platform.

f. Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Digg, Delicious, Technorati and other more arcane focused niches.

g. Over 150 other social networking a sites are listed in wikipedia as of April 1, 2011.

Social networking sites are their own breed of computing power. Designed originally for sharing secrets about dates (facebook), it has transformed into a different animal. And like most events on the internet it changes on almost a daily basis.  Social media is  still a very recent happening and the niche is growing exponentially fueled by Venture Capital and the enormous cash pot of the likes of Google, Facebook and others. Larger social network predators are engulfing smaller entities, and incorporating their victim’s  platforms and technical personell into their own company,  for their own missions rather than developing them internally. In the next year or so the market will mature and become stable. ………

to be continued:………..Part II

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