Category Archives: Uncategorized

5 Best Tools for Content Curation – The Experts’ View | Talkwalker

We’ve all heard the phrase “content is king” but constantly finding interesting new content to put on our websites or share on social media is often much easier said than done. As much as we may know that we need to share a variety of content to keep things interesting, with so much content covering similar topics finding those nuggets of content gold can be time consuming.

After all who’s to say which is the BEST content marketing strategy or the BEST way to write a blog? But all is not lost, content curation tools abound to help you on your voyage to uncover the best content for your audience – those articles, blogs and tweets that will get the online public flocking to your website, social channel or blog. Here is a list of 5 of the best content curation tools with recommendations from some industry experts to help you become a one stop shop for great content….

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Growth of the Internet of Things | Cool Infographics

The current projection data from Cisco is that the IoT (Internet of Things) will reach 50 Billion devices by the year 2020! Visualized by the NCTA (National Cable & Telecommunications Association) as the Growth in the Internet of Things.

Today’s Internet is driven by wired and wireless networks, keeping us connected throughout our daily lives. With the advent of new digital devices that constantly link us to the Internet, these networks have become much more than just a simple vehicle for information and communications. They now enable us to track our daily habits, monitor our health, manage home energy use and track nearly any other data we can imagine. These devices make up what we call the Internet of Things – a web of connected objects that are linked via networks that can interact with each other and with us.

The Internet isn’t merely developing, it’s exploding, and the numbers prove it. Take a look at our graphic below — it shows the advancing surge of connected devices using the Internet.

Today, there are more connected devices than there are human beings on the planet. This expansion isn’t just from cell phones, tablets and computers – it’s thanks to toothbrushes, stovetops and millions of other devices that now have IP addresses. Estimates show that there will be over 50 billion connected devices by 2020.

Fast, ubiquitous Wi-Fi and increasing home broadband speeds will drive the Internet of Things and the ever-expanding web….

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Getting It Right — Social Media, Patient Engagement, and HIPAA

Today it’s hard to run a business without a social media presence. Restaurants, grocery stores, big box stores like Home Depot, and even churches have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites. But what about a medical practice?

What Would You Use Social Media For?

Social media allows two-way communication with your customers — ahem, your patients. Providers may want to communicate with new patients, prior patients, or current patients. Providers may also want to communicate with their colleagues in a provider network. The right social media presencecan help your practice stay connected with current patients, reach potential new ones, increase word of mouth referrals, and become more involved in your community.

For example, when flu season starts each fall, your practice could post hand-washing tips, flu shot hours, and local flu outbreak statistics on your practice’s Facebook page, or you could tweet daily tips on flu prevention or reasons to get vaccinated. What your practice wants to put out on social media is up to you. You can post practice updates, photos of your office, or timely healthy living tips. Depending on the social media venue you’re using, you will definitely want to include your address, phone number, and practice hours. Provider profiles are a great touch too. Given the millennium we’re in, your practice probably has a website covering all this — but you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media to link back to it.

Think Your Practice Isn’t on Facebook? Think Again!

As I researched this post, I checked Facebook and Instagram for a social media presence from my own doctor’s practice. Though the hospital system that owns the practice has a fairly vigorous and very carefully curated presence on every social media channel I could think of, other than the practice website, I could only find my doctor’s practice on Facebook. But that was fine with me, so while I was there on their page, I posted a review (five stars, of course!) and scrolled through the posts. I noticed that all of the posts were from patients, some with pictures of babies getting their first shots, some with “check ins” like “doctor visit for me” with a map locating the practice. (I noticed that 135 people had checked in at the practice on Facebook.) Some of the posts were pretty negative, like “Office staff is awful,” or (with a picture of the practice front door) “I need new doctor, any suggestions?”

Then I looked at the page a little more closely. I noticed the page lacked the practice’s logo or any other personalization. Then I saw, in small letters at the top, two links reading “Unofficial Page” and “Is this your business?” The mouseover on the Unofficial Page link read “This unofficial Page was created because people on Facebook have shown interest in this place or business. It’s not affiliated with or endorsed by anyone associated with (XYZ) Practice.”

Would You Let People Stand on Your Sidewalk Holding Negative Signs?

Since in this case the patients themselves posted the information — maybe even on their own personal pages, with Facebook automatically linking them to the unofficial practice page — I doubt that HIPAA violations occurred. But from a business standpoint, how would you respond if people stood on the sidewalk in front of your office holding signs saying “Find another doctor”? If you controlled the Facebook page yourself, you could stop outside posts, or simply bury any negative reviews with positive, general healthcare content.

Facebook gives businesses the opportunity to merge the unofficial page into a “Verified Page” your organization manages, or to claim and verify the existing page “with a phone call or documents.” The bottom line is, even if your practice made a thoughtful business decision to stay off Facebook to stay in HIPAA compliance, your practice may be there anyway despite your decisions. Do you want strangers speaking for your practice without the opportunity to respond and take control?

What Would You Do?

If you looked at Facebook and found an unofficial page for your practice, what would you do? Would you leave it alone or take it over? I’m curious about what you think. Please let us know in the comment box below.

Want to Promote Patient Engagement Using Social Media?

If you’re looking to beef up your practice’s social media presence while staying in compliance with the HIPAA security rule, this AudioEducator conference recording may be just what you need. You can hear the recent presentation of Paul R. Hales, attorney and expert in HIPAA compliance, delving into ways you can avoid breaches on your practice’s official (or maybe even unofficial!) social media presences. It is possible to stay HIPAA compliant while promoting your practice on social media. Let Hales tell you how! Check it out here.

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Social Media in Oncology: Does It Help Patients?

The growth of social media in medicine, particularly oncology, has been impressive. The uses to date have varied from live reporting of meeting presentations to community development and support in any number of diseases. The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2015 Annual Meeting had over 74,000 tweets in the month surrounding the actual meeting dates, leading to over 330 million impressions. An “impression” is a tweet that has been delivered to a feed. To relate it to the statistic above, tweets from the ASCO annual meeting were delivered to over 330 million feeds. The 2016 American College of Cardiology conference has had over 31,000 tweets leading to over 197 million impressions. This is just a small sampling of all the information that comes out of conferences.

Using social media for disease/treatment community development and support is also expanding. From dedicated Facebook pages to live Twitter chats, patients now interact with providers and advocates, often in real time. As I write this column, Symplur, a company that monitors and analyzes social media activity in medicine, reports 127 recurring Twitter chats in the upcoming week. Topics vary from rheumatoid arthritis, autism, and movement disorders to various malignancies, among many others.

Now that social media has a firm foothold in medicine, it becomes reasonable to ask whether it is having any impact on patient care or outcomes. This question has been raised in any number of supportive activities in medicine. There are certainly reports that online support groups benefit patients,[1] but the definition of benefit has tended to be somewhat nebulous at best. The first question to ask is, what is an appropriate thing to measure?


Now that social media has a firm foothold in medicine, it becomes reasonable to ask whether it is having any impact on patient care or outcomes.


In oncology, our usual measured outcome is survival, although quality of life is often co-reported. Quality of life, however, is rarely the primary outcome looked at in any intervention. There have been suggestions that support groups can improve survival in breast cancer, but at least one randomized trial failed to show any impact on survival in breast cancer patients.[2] Is survival the only outcome that we should measure? Can we accept improvements in quality of life as an actionable outcome? What if we show that patients who are involved in social media communities are more likely to be compliant with their care or be more open to clinical trial participation? Would that information be persuasive enough to have granting organizations, institutions, and payers be more open to providing support and recognition to the physicians and support staff involved in these activities?

Answering these questions will take a level of analysis and research that requires external support. To even get to the level of information and structure that granting organizations will be open to reviewing requires some firming up of ideas. There are physicians who are mulling these questions and starting down this path.[3] One such group in development is the Collaboration for Outcomes on Social Media in Oncology (COSMO). This group, of which I am a member, is looking at this with a blank slate, other than initially defining the best questions to ask. We have no hesitation—should the data point in this direction—saying that no positive impact can be determined by these efforts. We also have no problem saying that others may have thoughts on questions to be asked or approaches to take. In the spirit of crowdsourcing, we welcome any input. There are rumblings of an abstract to be presented at the next ASCO Annual Meeting suggesting improvement in survival with the use of patient navigators. Possibly the same could eventually be found with patient involvement in social media.

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