Wednesday, 12 November 2014

All You Can Eat Buffet

In the social media world of healthcare the content available is rich and dynamic. Anyone from a super geek to an advocate of mindfulness can find something useful, and often the content is live.

Listening to innovators and leaders in healthcare fulfills one of the top criteria for having good outcomes in your own health. As you search, learn and listen your health literacy and ability to speak the language of healthcare improves dramatically.

Today I was discussing a change in medication at a doctor's appointment, based on a recent revision in recommendations. The first doctor I saw looked very surprised when I brought up the much cited in paper in PLOS  about 80% of studies being flawed in some way. When I started to mention selection bias as well I think he was relieved to see the supervisory doctor come in to the room. 

We ended up with a compromise position that I will try for 6 months. I felt heard, and I knew about the medication situation well in advance since with social media, as long as your sources are trustworthy, you can be as up to date in a general way as a professional.

Through being alert to opportunities you can often find live events either in your own home town or livestreamed  conferences or webinars online.

This week already I have seen Vinod Khosla, Ray Kurzweil, Sir Muir Gray, Daniel Kraft, Lucien Engelen and ePatient Dave live online. Last week I met the two scientists who discovered anti-TNF drugs, and heard talks from some of the top innovators in genomics in the world. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute Conference was also an eye-opener and accepted questions from the audience.

Social media is well worth the trouble. I thought it was particularly interesting tonight when Sir Muir Gray, former head of the National Health Service in the UK, told the audience at the McMaster Health Forum "Get yourself online" and also suggested smartphones for all.

It's a waterfall of information on social media (Dad on maid of the Mist cruise)

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