To tweet or not to tweet?
Social media is changing healthcare, and Twitter is how to keep track
- By: James Russell
The popularity of Twitter among doctors and medical students has grown rapidly since its launch in 2006. This has contributed to the British Medical Association, along with the American Medical Association, recently issuing guidelines relating to the use of social media within the profession.12 Given its potential as a free channel of communication between the medical profession and the public, Twitter has become a powerful force in healthcare. However, its unregulated use has begun to blur the boundary between the personal and the professional, giving rise to examples of unprofessional behaviour. Is Twitter therefore a help or a hindrance when it comes to preserving the doctor-patient relationship?
Twitter is a microblogging service that allows users to post messages, or tweets, up to 140 characters in length. Through the process of retweeting (when users repost another user’s tweet) or trending, when a topic is posted multiple times, information can spread rapidly