MDchat on IBM’s Watson and Physicians on Twitter

One of the great things about starting and moderating a Twitter chat, is that you see the growth of a community of people offering snippets of their diverse ideas and experiences.

Last night’s MDchat – @MD_chat – was particularly of interest to anyone interested in medicine and high-tech. The two topics were:

Although the transcript may be long, it’s easy to follow (I stripped out the RTs using @foxepractice’s transcription service). Check it out [link if you can’t see embed below]:

MDchat Healthcare Twitter Transcript for February 22, 2011

As you can see, there are so many different perspectives on how today’s evolving technologies impact (or can impact) Healthcare.

Oh, and if you haven’t taken the 2hashtags pledge, consider it. For these Twitter chats show that less is more – imagine if all those tweets in last night’s chats were soaked in multiple hashtags.

If you’re interested in MD_chat, consider what nurses are doing on RNchat. These two professionals – and the other participants from all walks of life – make these chats wonderful examples of what we can do.

@MD_chat takes place every Tuesday at 9pm Eastern. @RNchat takes place every Thursday at 9pm Eastern.

@PhilBaumann – @HealthIsSocial – Newletter


Twitter Chat on Alzheimer’s – A New Hope

Tonight, Tuesday January 25, at 9pm, MDchat will host the Twitter chat I mentioned on my tease of a post a couple days ago. The chat will be a fireside-like format with two women who were diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s telling us their stories and then answering questions from the audience.

I had promised you that the details of the chat would be revealed and you can find them over here.

The planning of this chat involved a lot of cooperation with Paul Moniz, Director of Communications and Marketing at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University (@EinsteinMed) and Alzheimer’s Association. Having worked with Paul, I can tell you that he is deeply committed to driving awareness of important health-related issues.

We’ll certainly discuss the chat in future posts after its complete. The hope is that we can learn more about the possibilities of today’s media.

The beauty of these media isn’t the media themselves – it’s the minds who use them.

The new hope is that we can re-personalize care. People are people, and just want to be treated with dignity, respect and professional excellence.

There’s so much we can do together, and making the most of today’s communications is key to doing our best.

Here are the basics of the format of tonight’s chat:

  • We’ll introduce Libby and Gwen. Since Gwen and Libby are not active users of Twitter, they will receive some help for the actual tweeting.
  • For the first half hour, @MD_chat will ask questions directed at Gwen and Libby and they will use those questions to tell their story (at this point, participants are asked to hold off questions until the second half)
  • Links to Alzheimer’s resources will be provided according to the pace of the chat
  • During the last half of the chat, participants will have the opportunity to ask Gwen and Libby questions, which @MD_chat will moderate.

The hashtag is #MDchat and you can follow along on TweetChatTwitter Search or the Twitter client of your choice. If you’re new to Twitter or Twitter chats, here’s a video tutorial I did for RNchat (just substitute MDchat).

You’re welcome to attend tonight’s chat at 9pm Eastern, listen to these two brave women’s stories and respectfully participate in the Q&A in the second half. Again, details are up on MDchat’s blog.

Health Is Social, and this chat is a part of that sociability.


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Taking Twitter to a Whole New Level for Health Care

On Tuesday evening January 25 at 9pm Eastern, MDchat will do something I don’t think has ever been done before on a medium like Twitter.

It’s long been my hope that we could safely push the envelop with today’s media for health care (space between health and care intended). For too long there has been too many disconnects between the formal instituions of Healthcare and the very people they were founded to serve.

What’s going to happen on Tuesday – and it will only happen if I know all systems are go – will hopefully become an inspiring template for 21st Century communication. A few foot prints on new territory to follow.

One small tweet for a chat, one giant leap for health care.

Yes, I am a tease.

But I’m a tease for good reason. All will be revealed very very soon, including the people who have been working hard to bring this together.

Tuesday’s Twitter chat will not be run the way we’ve gotten used to them. It will follow a different format and I’ll post the details.

So stay tuned – I’ll post more here and on MDchat’s blog. I’ll also send word through MDchat’s Newsletter.


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Quora Concerning Cancer

I love finding and making connections where we make disconnections.

You love making them too.

It’s what science is about.

It’s what art is about.

It’s what love is about.

And thus it is that we must question concerning cancer.

For our knowledge of cancer – of how cells disconnect from their natural connection to mortality and transmogrify into immortality – is far from complete.

Perhaps it’s time we open up all those tiny assumptions and lemmas and questions about Cancering which traditional researchers have labored to tackle.

Perhaps we need the mathematician with no background in biology: to look at the problem of remmission.

Perhaps we need the musician who has no idea what “neoplasm” means: to ask the molecular geneticist for help in a composition, all the while asking questions about telomeres like a five-year old.

Perhaps we need the venture capitalist who never went to college: to cull her network of programmers and business analysts to lend forth their knowledge about where things fail.

Perhaps we need the parents who went through hell: to tell us how the Web could better connect, educate and support the newly diagnosed with all available resources.

Perhaps we need that kid who endured chemotherapy: to tell us what the doctors and nurses – her parents – missed in the course of her care.

The brightest discoveries aren’t always made where the light shines.

Martin Heidegger, in his essay The Question Concerning Technology, proclaimed: “Questioning is the piety of thought”.

I agree, and so I have usurped his “Question concerning…” theme and adapted it to Quora.

For regardless of where these crazy little toys from Silicone Valley go, we can Quora concerning cancer. Right now, this moment.

For once, we have a technology which lets us do just that with the potential for global reach.

The question mark is the only technology we have to save us from technology’s cancering.



The Four Modes of Twitter – Part II

Last week, I wrote Part I of The Four Modes of Twitter. As I mentioned in that post, there are several ways, or modes, through which to extract value from Twitter: Focused, Filtered, Serendipitous and Random.

I figured it would be better to expand on Part I on video because I think the ideas won’t come together in a text format. (I’m a one-take monkey – fyi.) If you can’t see the embed below, you can view it here.

Why look at it this way?

Well, there are still many nurses, doctors, researchers and others who haven’t yet peered sufficiently enough into emerging media to make informed decisions about their relevance and use. And since Twitter is in its own category of communications and media, seeing its various value propositions can be elusive.

Those of us who believe that there are smart ways to use odd technologies like Twitter need to appreciate how dopey they can appear to others who don’t have any experience with them. We need to explain the value points of them.

Of all emerging media, Twitter seems to be the one that most perplexes the uninitiated the most. If you’re in healthcare, you can’t be willfully ignorant of the technological changes transpiring around you.

Furthermore, these media are often re-purposeful – and we need to understand what we’re dealing with so that we can make intelligent decisions about their possible roles. Only after understanding and experiencing these media can acceptance or rejection be at all intelligent.

That’s one of the reasons I started RNchat and #MDchat.

There are many nurses and physicians who have come to appreciate the different value propositions of different media, and often it’s been these kinds of Twitter chats that have helped ‘noobs’ come up to speed with today’s media.

There are also many who don’t – or who haven’t full realized what can be done with them.  For instance, Twitter chats still perplex – hopefully, these four modes that I’ve offered will lend some insight.

I don’t know about you, but I want life scientists and researchers and doctors and nurses and other heroes of our world to get their feet wet with today’s media. Why? Because in the 21st Century, not to be Web literate amounts to traditional illiteracy. Simple as that.

We need to panoramic in our approach to what we do.

Focus, filtering, serendipity and randomness are inherent properties of life. They’re also reflected into today’s emerging media.

You can spend all your time focusing on nothing but your corner of the universe at the expense of missing the larger parties around you.

On the other extreme, you can spend all your time randomly tweeting and Facebooking and surfing the Web at the expense of never accomplishing anything.

Or you can learn to allocate your time wisely, and maximize the effect of appreciating the properties of focused, filtered, serendipitous and random processes.

There are hundreds of ways to use these kinds of media in healthcare.

The human imagination is the most powerful API in the world. What a shame to waste it on willful ignorance or prejudiced dismissal.

If you look closely at the histories of innovation and discovery in medicine or other sciences and arts, you’ll find streaks of all four kinds of processes. We’d never have advanced the best of our healthcare that arises out of discovery if it weren’t for these four modes.

Twitter is a crazy metaphor. And the metaphor is life.

@PhilBaumann –      @HealthIsSocial

Finally a Twitter Chat for Physicians – #MDchat

A quick announcement about something announced yesterday regarding the launch of a Twitter chat for physicians: #MDchat.

It was a year ago when Phil launched #RNchat and it’s proven its worth in helping to connect nurses from around the world and to help the profession to pay more attention to emerging technologies. So it’s with enthusiasm that a similar platform fo physicians come into being.

The inaugural chat will be Tuesday, October 5, 1010 at 12:30 pm EDT. Join in!

You can read the details on MDchat and follow the Twitter account: @MD_chat (mind the underscore).