Posted by on Feb 6, 2015 in Blog | 2 comments


Worldwide Conversation

#Doctors20 Tweetchat Statistics

Only on Twitter can people around the world chat with each other in real-time about an issue that impacts so many.   Monday February 2nd, a group of 114 people from places as different as South Africa, Belgium, Australia, Spain, United States, Israel, Ireland and more, got together under the #Doctors20  hashtag to discuss seeking health information after a diagnosis.  We were honored to be selected to moderate by the hashtag creators, Doctors 2.0 & You, a key digital health conference (Paris, June 4-5, 2015).


In the beginning expectations for the chat ranged from “finding the gold in the gold mine of Dr. Google” to “learning how to help my patients educate themselves about their chronic illnesses” to “hearing how online info seeking can be used for patient empowerment.”   1,225 tweets later, the rapid fire chat provided many answers, explored many points of view and gave much food for thought.

Tweetchat Highlights and Insights

Here are some highlights.
1) Even though the Pew Interest survey of 2012 found that 72% of Internet users say they looked online for health information within the past year, most people don’t know where to start.

2) Sharing information sources is important to patient researchers.

Here are their recommendations:  

One patient activist recommended medical school anatomy lectures by Dr. Marian Diamond on youtube. Another recommended cardiology lectures on Khan Academy.  

Questions were raised about Wikipedia…patient activists, physicians and health communicators warned to check the sources at the footer, look at the copyright date and remember that it is crowd sourced.  

3) Patient activists feel that it is important for physicians and other healthcare providers to understand why, when and how patients and caregivers search for information.



4) Many physicians tell their patients to not look for information online.




5) Leaflets, booklets and “goody bags” are not effective.  

 The recommended alternative are videos and infographics.


 6) Patients are online researching and need physicians to help them.

7)  Many websites are too general.

8)  Doctors can be activists.

9)  Even though most physicians are not prescribing information, the activist physicians on the chat do.  They have several recommendations including physician websites.




10) Disease specific non-profits should also be part of the information prescription mix.


11)  The National Network of Libraries of Medicine has a campaign to encourage information prescribing by physicians.

12) Prescribing general information may not work for many people. Medivizor can be prescribed to patients so they can get information personalized to their condition.


13) Patients need to be at medical conferences.

14) Some patients would like physicians to prescribe online communities and peer mentors. However, some patients would like some physician monitoring of content.


15)  Patients feel that they should have access to medical journal articles without the barrier of paying high fees.


16) Finally

In 2015 people are still dying because of a lack of information 🙁 #medinfo #doctors20 #givoly #hcsm — Dr. Luc Colemont (@LucColemont) February 2, 2015

When asked how you can get more information sharing, this physician activist replied

Thank You

Many thanks to Doctors 2.0 for the invitation to moderate this exciting chat.