We are very excited that the Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy has officially launched our Center for Consumer Health Informatics Research (CCHIR)! Like all undertakings of this magnitude, it has been in the works for some time and has benefited from tremendous support from many corners – in particular the Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and the Dean of the College of Pharmacy. Below is a presentation outlining some basics about the Center. I look forward to working with its faculty and collaborators and steering the CCHIR toward many great developments in the future.
UPDATE: The dedicated site is up at www.CCHIR.com
Last semester I taught Consumer Health Informatics and Web 2.0 in Healthcare in the College of Pharmacy (COP) after having coordinated several iterations of it in the MS in Biomedical Informatics Program. At the end of the COP course, I asked the students for their opinions about the most useful and least useful lectures of the semester (with an eye towards improving future offerings). Many of the students mentioned topics that were discussed by one of the six excellent guest lecturers. While I sincerely appreciate each guest lecturer’s contribution, I thought it would be even more meaningful to share a student response about each guest lecturer/topic.
I’ll use the format below to do so (lecturers appear in the order they taught during the semester):
The course’s most useful lecture was Dr. Kang’s since it focused on policy and the big picture instead of just one or two tools.
Jeah-Ah Kang, PharmD
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications (DDMAC)
“Promotion of FDA-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools”
Most useful was Dr. Gualtieri’s because it may be the only one that really looked at things from the patient’s side.
Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM
Tufts University School of Medicine
“Blogging for Health: Communicating the Experience of Illness”
Most useful lecture was Dr. Dyer’s lecture. It was very cool seeing how healthcare was using this new tech and getting positive results. Very. Cool.
Jennifer Dyer, MD, MPH
Ohio State University, College of Medicine
“RU TAKING UR MEDS? (DR. SEZ TEXTING TEENZ HELPS!)”
I would like to see more experts like Dr. Fahrni. His lecture was most useful. It provided insight on what this breed of pharmacist does on a daily basis.
Jerry Fahrni, PharmD
Kaweah Delta District Hospital (now Talyst)
“Pharmacy Informatics – One Pharmacist’s Perspective”
The most useful topic was Dr. Mesko’s on virtual worlds because it was most forward looking. I wish we would use it more and create our own avatars.
Bertalan Mesko, MD
University of Debrecen Medical School
“Medicine in Second Life, the virtual world”
The most useful lecture topic would have to be the final lecture from Dr. Fox, it was extremely informative and I enjoyed it a lot. I’d like to see an additional lecture from him.
Brent Fox, PharmD, PhD
University of Auburn, College of Pharmacy
“The Pharmacist’s Role in Health 2.0”
Social media presence for the course contributors can be found here:
Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM (@lisagualtieri)
Jennifer Dyer, MD, MPH (@EndoGoddess)
Jerry Fahrni, PharmD (@JFahrni)
Bertalan Mesko, MD (@Berci)
Brent Fox, PharmD, PhD (@Brent_Fox)
Yesterday, during a lunch chock full o’ watching a live broadcast of a knee surgery from Swedish (courtesy @danamlewis) and checking out a group of smart, passionate folks talk about Women & HIV at the White House (including @SusannahFox), I indulged in a download of the new Webicina app for the iPhone.
For those of you unfamiliar with Webicina, it is one of the best examples of crowdsourced curation of health information I have seen. At the most basic level, it is a list of resources, by medical specialty (for healthcare professionals) and health conditions (for patients). Also, if you click on ‘About Us’ (top right in screenshot) from the main menu, it will provide a link to its PeRSSonalized Medicine feature, which has RSS-like functionality…except that a world of contributors has already done the work to pre-select menu items for you. And it’s available in 17 languages. Oh, and it’s free. Webicina has been available online for a couple years, but now it’s available as an app on iTunes, and per its creator/curator Dr. @Berci Mesko, it will soon be available for Android.
I think the best value of Webicina may be that it is a central place to direct healthcare professionals who are looking to get their feet wet with social media/Web 2.0 or alternately, it is a good initial place to direct patients who are a bit overwhelmed from trying to dive into the pool of health information online. The next best thing about Webicina? If you think there is a great resource missing from the list, just click on the link to Webicina.com in the app and type it into the ‘suggest a site’ box for possible inclusion!
Scroll down for additional screenshots
I poked around a bit on it earlier today.
(And below is an enlarged iPhone screenshot of some of the resource types within a section)
There are a number of initiatives, sites, and platforms trying to capitalize on the power of social media and social networking to enhance research efforts. A few of them are ResearchGate, Health InnoVation Exchange (HIVE), and VIVO. Each offers something a bit different; for a full list of ‘biomedical communities’ check out this excellent resource by @Berci Mesko.
Aside from those ‘communities’, can social media enhance research? For me, the answer is a resounding yes. I have both observed and directly benefitted via plenty of resources. Here is a random sample: a source of support for grad students that hosts data sets, actual datasets made freely available for conducting research, a how-to for using Facebook to recruit survey participants, and a prelim study on use of Facebook for health education.
However, for me, the clearest benefit has been from social networking tools; chief among those is Twitter. It has helped my research by: 1) connecting me to people with complementary expertise for collaborating on research projects, 2) exposing me to different types of expertise and ways to approach problem solving for research, and 3) creating a filtered source of relevant information about research.
It’s that last item that I want to focus on. A little over six months ago, I saw a tweet from @mindofandre (who has the excellent Pulse+Signal) announcing a RFP for the Mobilizing for Health grant by the McKesson Foundation. For some reason, I did not see that RFP on my Community of Science alerts, or any of the other resources I use to stay informed on grant opportunities. Thankfully, I did see it on Twitter. It looked like a great match for a study our mHealth group wanted to conduct. Fast-forward 6 months and past lots of heavy lifting by my colleagues, and we are very happy we’ll be able to conduct that study as ours was one of the proposals funded! Now that I think of it, Andre was the person who put us into touch with several other mHealth researchers about 10 months prior to that as well – quite the Gladwellian Connector, that one. In any event, this is just one example of the intersection of social media and research. The tools are there, you just have to use them.
Oh, and in the best pay-it-forward tradition, here are two outstanding mHealth research-related opportunities:
- NIH/OBSSR mHealth Summer Institute where early career investigators will get an intensive weeklong experience to learn about mHealth research. (Deadline extended until March 10)
- The new cycle for the McKesson Foundation Mobilizing for Health grant has begun and Letters of Intent are due on April 1, 2011.
I’d love to hear any examples of how social media has impacted your research – by creating opportunities, informing you, using it as a tool to collect data, connecting you with potential collaborators, etc.
The 10th annual ePharma Summit was held over the last few days in NY. I was interested due to some of the scheduled speakers but could not make it, so I dipped in and out of the virtual conference stream as possible and found some pretty worthwhile content in there. The most convenient way to follow was via #ePharma on Twitter, but the conference site also did a pretty good job of posting videos (although the audio was almost inaudible at times) and other information.
What ultimately prompted me to blog about it was a tweet (via @WendyBlackburn & @pjmachado) about a parody video produced by Kevin Nalty (@nalts) [see below]. It just struck me as creative, funny, and very strong work…and it made me think how great it would be if that kind of creativity could be unleashed to design social media/mobile/any type of health-related content aimed at informing, educating, and empowering patients. Yes, the creativity behind this video is being used for ‘good’, but minus the shackles it could be used for a much greater ‘good’. I think that social media, in particular, has a lot to offer on this front and it is unfortunate that the regulatory environment is such that this is largely not possible right now. There have been some efforts along these lines and there was even a preliminary paper just published on the use of Facebook to deliver HIV education. However, there remains a long way to go – and I’m not just talking about ‘official guidance’ in a single arena.
More anon, for now…I hope you enjoy the video.
Note: If you click on the video it may say it is restricted on certain sites as it contains content from Universal Music Group and must be played on You Tube…so you can click ‘Watch on YouTube’ to play or go to the epharmify Channel to view it.
The Medicine 2.0 World Congress on Social Media and Web 2.0 in Health, Medicine, and Biomedical Sciences is one of the most valuable conferences I have ever attended. It has been the meeting in this arena with the clearest focus on actual research and evidence for Medicine 2.0 issues and also offers the best opportunity to connect with other researchers, clinicians, e-patients, business and policy people. In fact, the very first Medicine 2.0 Congress was where I was introduced to (and/or first met IRL) so many people who went on to become research collaborators, colleagues, and friends.
In the spirit of that original meeting, I am excited for this year’s Medicine 2.0 at Stanford (September 16-18, 2011). I have always appreciated the fact that Medicine 2.0 has truly been an international gathering, but am happy to see that it is coming to the United States for the first time. I am also eager to see another first, the one-day Stanford Summit at Medicine 2.0, which will directly precede the Medicine 2.0 Congress. The Summit is lining up to have an incredible array of moderators and panelists.
Given the quality of the attendees and the opportunities for discussion/dissemination of your research (and networking), if you are working in this field I would strongly urge you to respond to the Call for Abstracts, Presentations, Interactive Demos, Startup Pitches and Panel Proposals for Medicine 2.0 at Stanford. The deadline for submission is a (rapidly approaching) March 1st, 2011. You can click on the link for the Call or start the process by watching the overview below by this year’s Conference organizer, Dr. Larry Chu. Also, feel free to contact me with any questions and I look forward to seeing you there!
I saw a tweet by John @Poikonen that alerted me to the fact that a second article in as many weeks has been published on pharmacy and blogs. Two pharmacy students (Justin Elkins and Chilla Goncz) and I authored “Use of blogs by pharmacists“, which appears in the new issue of the American Journal of Health System Pharmacy. We identified all blogs that were pharmacist-authored, active (i.e. posts in the last 3 months), and written in English. Blogs focused on pharmacy, but not written by a pharmacist were excluded. Forty-four blogs were identified that fit those criteria. We used the most recent 5 posts to assess the blogs based on six categories (e.g. practice based topics, identifying information, positive language, critical language, professionalism and miscellaneous).
Most pharmacist blogs (68%) were written anonymously (versus 43% in Lagu’s study of physician and nurse blogs). Pharmacist bloggers were equally represented by community (43%) and non-community settings (43%); the practice settings of the remainder were indeterminable. These blogs most commonly used positive language to describe the profession (32%), other health care professionals (25%), and patients (25%). Critical language was more commonly observed in descriptions of patients (57%); almost half of all posts contained profane or explicit language (48%).
Most of the blogs (71%) contained mentions of pharmacologic therapies and current healthcare events (66%). We also noted that 25% of these bloggers had a Twitter account (relative to 11% of the general population in the same timeframe per Pew). Out of the 11 pharmacist blogs that were ranked by Technorati, all but two were primarily of a ‘ranting’ nature (e.g. Angry Pharmacist, Angriest Pharmacist, Your Pharmacist May Hate You). Interestingly, the only two ranked, but non-ranting blogs were written by non-US pharmacists.
Our full AJHP article lists all of the 44 blogs and while it is not open access, my hope is that via ASHP Connect and rapid response that this list of pharmacist blogs can be updated and curated using our article as a starting point.
Recently I have seen another round of the cyclical deluge of posts, pointers, and tips telling people what Twitter is meant for and ‘instructing’ them how they should use it. Most of this advice is invariably wrong simply because there is no certain way that Twitter should be used. It is impossible. Even Twitter doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up yet.
However, there are three perpectives about using Twitter that I believe have real merit. The ties that bind all three are that each touches on a range of uses for Twitter and the tones are personalized and/or contemplative, rather than authoritative.
1. How I Use Twitter as a Killer Filtering App by @Doctor_V [Nov 3, 2010]
Concise, clean approach that recognizes the fluid nature of the tool and how it can be employed
2. Twitter: filter, suggestion box, idea machine, window by @SusannahFox [Oct 18, 2010]
Four featured functions of Twitter including example accounts that support each method used
Both of those posts, like all good blog posts, have a number of comments that really add value. The third perspective is…well, it’s a little different. I first watched it on my phone and felt like I was watching a cross between Phil Laak and Mike Caro. @AndrewSpong aptly characterized it as “structured free association”. Just keep your hands inside the car and hang on for the ride that is:
3. The Four Modes of Twitter: Focused, Filtered, Serendipitous and Random by @PhilBaumann via @HealthIsSocial [Oct 29/Nov 4 2010]
I have collected these three perspectives here as a resource for those trying to figure out if it makes sense for them to use Twitter or those trying to get a better idea of Twitter’s utility or lack thereof. The first two perspectives are particularly well-suited for healthcare professionals, researchers, academicians, and students. The third offers more of a James Joyce exploration of the potential of Twitter and is not for the faint of heart. I believe all three have value and hope you find the same.
- @CatchTheBaby @itsthebunk We are heading to Nashville! 1 week ago
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