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Ahyaha Arab pharmacists network ... new trends in pharmacy education

Ahyaha Arab pharmacists network ... new trends in pharmacy education | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it
Ramez Clinical Pharmacist's insight:

This is Ramez M. Alkoudmani, iPharm 2.0 pioneer

 

I'm Syrian clinical pharmacist .... I'm doing my Master's degree in pharmacy practice at IIUM, Malaysia. I am passionate at working on my own talents until i can make a difference and change myself for the better and be one of the best pharmacy leaders in the near future. I have my own project "Ahyaha"

 

 

 

I have started working on my own project since August, 2011. My project is about helping Arab pharmacists and pharmacy students to improve their knowledge in pharmacy practice and know their roles as health care providers, so they can improve pharmaceutical care with other health care members. I have used many online educational technology tools to communicate with thousands of Arab pharmacists and pharmacy students.

 

 

 

Until Sept, 9, 2014 I have:

 

37200 followers on my project facebook page

 

23000 on my project group

 

2115 followers to my podcasts

 

2561 followers to my personal profile on facebook

 

I have launched the website of my project since May, 2014

 

Pharmacy Practice cartoons project started since October, 2013

 

Android Apps for Arab pharmacists (5 apps since January, 1st, 2014)

 

Ahyaha Online Educational Community launched on April, 25th, 2014

 

Ahyaha Mobile Community Launched on May, 24th, 2014

 

 

Now, I'm working on how can we connect Arab pharmacists and pharmacy students in one platform using emerging smart-phones applications and latest online educational tools and build lifelong learning community wherever we are, and share our expertise and knowledge interactively. I'm working with my team members in different Arab countries using latest online communication technologies to create pharmacy cartoons photos to help general public and Arab pharmacists learning pharmacy in an interesting ways. I can share also my expertise about online educational technologies.... I have 3 years of experience until now. Now ... Let me tell you more about my Project

 

An overview of Ahyaha Arab Pharmacists Network

 

Ahyaha is an Online Educational Community, and has been launched for 3 years until now. Arab Pharmacists and pharmacy students can share their knowledge and expertise in a collaborative and interactive lifelong learning mode using emerging online educational technologies, so they can learn at any time from anywhere and improve their knowledge in pharmacy. When they continually improving their skills and knowledge in pharmacy practice, they can play an important role to enhance the pharmaceutical care in the near future, and collaborate effectively with other health care providers. The ultimate outcome of this project is to play our role and work with other pharmacists towards improving pharmacy practice in Arab countries. This project will benefit Arab pharmacy students, pharmacy technicians, community pharmacists, clinical pharmacists, hospital pharmacists, Pharmacists who have Masters and PhD. Degrees, Medical doctors and other health care providers. We will try to share the latest pharmaceutical knowledge practiced in health care settings to improve pharmaceutical care with a patient centered prospective using latest educational technologies, and learn for a better and healthy life.  

 

 

Give me your feedback please .... thank you for reading and have a beautiful day

 

 

You can reach me via

 

facebook

 

http://bitly.com/ramez-alkoudmani

 

e-mail

 

cpe4ever@gmail.com

 

LinkedIn

 

 

Hand Phone

 

+60132580908

 

Also whatsapp , imo , facebook messenger

 

Ramez M. Alkoudmani, iPharm 2.0 Pioneer

 

 

 

 

 

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Big data puts the doctor in your pocket

Big data puts the doctor in your pocket | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it

We are moving from a world where we treat illnesses to one where we predict and prevent them, advised by mobile doctors in our pockets.

 

This new era of medicine is being driven by an explosion in health-related data from a growing range of public and private sources, analysed by increasingly powerful number-crunching computers.


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Evernote power tips for email, Post-Its, documents and more | PCWorld

Evernote power tips for email, Post-Its, documents and more | PCWorld | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it
Evernote is more than a digital notepad. Try these tools to see how versatile it can be.

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Official AndreasCY's curator insight, March 13, 8:30 AM

Evernote is considered the gold standard for note-taking apps, but for all its accolades most people barely tap into its capabilities. Here are four features you should integrate into your workflow now.

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How mHealth will change the doctor-patient culture

How mHealth will change the doctor-patient culture | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it
Health care shopping is the ultimate level in this game, so it requires new tools, collectively known as mHealth, or mobile health.

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HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO ENGAGE PATIENTS, COLLABORATE WITH EACH OTHER

HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO ENGAGE PATIENTS, COLLABORATE WITH EACH OTHER | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it

It’s beginning to happen, slowly, but surely. Social media use in healthcare is beginning to scratch the surface.

The UCLA Health System live-tweets brain surgery, including short video clips to reduce future patients’ fear of a procedure. Johns Hopkins uses Facebook to generate a 21-fold increase of people who registered themselves as an organ donor in a single day. Texas Health Resources in Arlington is using social mediainternally and externally, for knowledge-sharing, team building, education, and employee recruitment. Out of the organization’s 21,500 employees, 3,500 are active social media users.

This is just a small sampling of how healthcare organizations, specifically leading providers, are beginning to embrace what many, and some likely still, dismiss as a passing fancy. For many, the use ofsocial media is no longer just being passed off as a marketing effort. Leading providers are even integrating it into clinical operations and overall efforts to improve patient engagement. Others are using it to collaborate with others to better navigate the tricky, regulatory waters upon which IT leaders in healthcare are facing.

An April 2012 report from PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Health Research Institute (HRI) found that 60 percent of consumers would trust health information posted on social media by their doctors, 55 percent would trust a hospital, and 56 percent would trust a nurse. The same study found that one-third of all consumers use social media for healthcare information. Since then, social media in healthcare has only grown and many say it will continue to grow.

“[Social media] is too much of a natural process—because people use this stuff everyday in all aspects of their lives—it’s only natural that it will [continue] to make the jump to healthcare itself. When you can order a plane ticket, order a pizza, and deposit your paycheck from a phone, you’re going to want to access your health records, schedule a doctor visit, get your lab results, and you are going to want to ask a health question,” says Jeff Livingston, M.D., a physician at MacArthur Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Infertility in Irving, Texas.

Jeff Livingston, M.D.

A PATIENT ENGAGEMENT TOOL

Livingston has spearheaded the organization’s avid social media efforts, connecting with patients through these mediums, for approximately 10 years. This dates back to the days when he would go on MySpace and answer questions from his young patient demographic about their pregnancy concerns. One look on the MacArthur Ob/Gyn social networking sites and the fruits of his labor will be in clear view—numerous likes, retweets, questions and comments, and overall, engaged patients.

His strategy differs from many larger organizations. Doctors, not the marketing people, are the ones using the networks. “Finding a doctor who likes a particular network is so important to success,” Livingston says. Recently, one of Livingston’s doctors took over the organization’s Pinterest page and was able to gain more than 100 followers on the network overnight.  “This is not about practice marketing. This is a tool to engage patients in their health.”

MacArthur also focuses hyper-locally, looking to serve the patients of the Irving area and their concerns. To Livingston, this is how the organization can build effective, intimate relationships with their patients through social media.

For bigger hospital provider organizations, such as Mount Sinai Health System, a seven-hospital system based in New York City, the hyper-local concept might not fly as well when serving a city of eight million. Still, the organization, which has been recognized for being one of the friendliest hospitals for social media in the U.S., works to ensure there is a meaningful connection with patients.

To do this, John Ambrose, the social media director at Mount Sinai, says his team meets with physicians, nurses, and department heads multiple times per week. They’re mining for information on what patients want to learn about and will create campaigns based on that research.  In that vein, it promoted a free skin cancer screening on Facebook and had a line out the door at the dermatology department.

“It’s really about word of mouth, speaking to the doctors, speaking to the nurses. These are the people who are sitting with the patients every single day and know what these patients need, and from that, we can create meaningful campaigns,” Ambrose says. In addition to this, Mount Sinai has created 50 or so social media channels, many of which are specifically for a certain disease population.

CONCERNS WITH HIPAA

Many on the provider side have shied away from connecting from patients altogether, citing concerns with potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The Philadelphia-based American College of Physicians (ACP) has provided an official series of ethical guidelines for physicians using social media and other electronic means of communication. The guidelines advise them to keep a distance from patients on the networks and schedule an appointment if they are approached through electronic means for clinical advice.

“I encourage physicians to not even use Facebook and areas where they put personal content in there, because of the (potential) for miscommunication. We are observed and we have a certain standard to act professionally, and sometimes that filter is not there to enable us to do that appropriately,” says David Fleming, M.D., the President-elect of the ACP, and served on ACP’s Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee. “Sometimes things can slip out on a Facebook post, a tweet, a blog. Suddenly, you have private information from patients, it may have been put out there innocently or educationally…but there it is.”

David Fleming, M.D.

When it comes to interacting with patients digitally, Fleming advises providers to use a secure patient portal. He also says digital tools should be used to strengthen and enhance face-to-face relationships.

Ultimately, Fleming says providers need to establish guidelines for social media and other forms of digital communication with patients.  Others in the industry are instead focusing social media efforts on provider-to-provider communications.

Drex DeFord, the one-time CIO of Steward Health Care, the Boston-based integrated health system and chairman of the board of the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), shifted to the vendor side in 2013, accepting a job as CEO of the Seattle-based Next Wave Connect. Next Wave is a social media platform that allows healthcare professionals to collaborate internally and externally, in a private or open setting.  It relies on advisory council experts, community advisors, and community managers to contribute to conversations and facilitate collaboration.

Drex DeFord

To DeFord, these elements are where the value of social networking for healthcare providers can come into play. “I think the ability to create real and persistent collaboration over time is a real opportunity for healthcare that isn’t offered in any other way today,” he says.

DeFord says there is a real opportunity for growth in social media for healthcare providers and patients, as soon as they recognize this collaborative potential, and not just see the medium as a “time waster.” This includes, he says, taking patient-generated data from social apps and feeding it into clinical portals. “Figuring out ways to use social to make people healthier is really something that will become a reality, and is a reality today, but will come more commonplace in the coming years,” he says.


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Can Social Media Prevent Chronic Disease?

Can Social Media Prevent Chronic Disease? | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it

According to a recent report from eHealth Initiative (eHI), social media has the potential to reduce chronic disease and correct high-risk behavior. The report examines the impact of social media and role of online communities in enhancing health education and behavior change efforts to promote wellness, healthy eating, and active living to prevent chronic disease.

Recent studies have shown the burden of chronic disease on the healthcare system is staggering with more than 133 million Americans with one or more chronic conditions accounting for 75 percent of all healthcare spending. With most of chronic diseases being preventable through behavioral and lifestyle modifications, social media can serve as an invaluable form of communication.

Over the past few years millions of consumers are turning to social media to connect with other patients, caregivers, and medical professionals through social media platforms such as message boards, blogs, microblogs, or social networking sites to discuss how to cope with the demands of a chronic disease, share strategies to achieve a healthier lifestyle, or share their experience with a condition or treatment (SacBee,1/30/14).


Key Challenges/Barriers

Despite social media’s huge opportunity, the report identifies key challenges that must be addressed if social media is going to evolve into a key form of health communication in the U.S., including:

Digital divide among elderly and minority populations;Balancing transparency and anonymity;Concerns about privacy and HIPAA compliance;Quality, validity, and authenticity of information online.

Best Practices/Strategies for Promoting Health and Wellness through Social Media

In order to successfully leverage social media to combat chronic disease, the following successful best practices and strategies should be considered:

Develop multiple synchronous and asynchronous functionalities to allow flexible 24/7 communication among users.Include online roles for trained health providers and caregivers to mitigate concerns about misinformation without breaking users’ trust.Provide dynamic privacy controls and use requirements that encourage users to share as much or as little information as they prefer.Incorporate user-centered design to ensure not only that the platform is developed appropriately for the intended user audience with relevant features.

Background

The report is the result of a qualitative research project which was informed by a literature review and environmental scan of the field, including case studies and informant interviews with key organizations and experts. Support for this report was provided by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF).

 


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Praveen Thadani's curator insight, June 25, 10:09 PM

InterestIng observations around use of social media with chronic disease. 

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Pharma missing Big Data opportunity by ignoring social media

Pharma missing Big Data opportunity by ignoring social media | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it

Inherent conservatism and a lack of regulatory guidance have caused pharma to edge slowly onto social media platforms. While such reticence is understandable, patients still talk about their health online. The question is, should drugmakers be listening?

Many companies have closed their eyes to social media, in part to avoid potentially having to report any adverse events they see discussed online. IMS Health has picked apart the flaws of this strategy of willful ignorance in a new report that details how and why companies should tap into the social media data stream. By ignoring the information shared by patients, companies are failing to exploit a source of qualitative real-world data on their drugs and unmet medical needs.

If companies can establish the technical capabilities to collate and mine the data, it could prove a useful addition to other sources of information on the efficacy and side effects of their products. Technology vendors--including IMS--are lining up to help with this work. IMS expanded into social media listening last year through the acquisition of Semantelli but faces competition from the likes of Treato, Liquid Grids and Radian6.

 

Each promises to automate aspects of social media monitoring and analysis to cut the burden on pharma companies. The IMS report suggests the industry needs the help. Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) tops the IMS social media engagement index with a score of 70. After J&J there is a huge gap back to GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) in second place. GSK scored just 25 but still outranked the rest of the industry.



 


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Richard Baxter's curator insight, February 1, 8:02 AM

Listening is good but understanding and interpretation of what is being said is critical otherwise it is meaningless 

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Five Time-Saving PowerPoint Tips

A powerful presentation can make or break your meeting. Don't wing it; learn these must-know Powerpoint tips in just minutes from the experts at lynda.com. Chec

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Sandra Carswell's curator insight, February 10, 11:28 PM

Can there be more to learn about Power Point? 

Don Karp's curator insight, February 11, 12:41 AM

Very comprehensive with YouTubes for each

Mayra.Loves.Books's curator insight, February 12, 7:05 AM

Very helpful!

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115 Free HTML5 CSS3 Website Templates

115 Free HTML5 CSS3 Website Templates | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it
For the last few years new technologies come on scene very fast and when it comes to web design industry this has happened (still going on) in a very fast

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How To Make Students Better Online Researchers - EdTechReview™ (ETR)

How To Make Students Better Online Researchers - EdTechReview™ (ETR) | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it
Learn How To Make Students Better Online Researchers. Getting kids to really focus on what exactly they are searching for, and then be able to further distill idea into a few key specific search terms is a skill that we must teach students.

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Patty Ball's curator insight, January 18, 11:14 AM

Planning the map inside your head is the most important task of a man. Without a plan a person is just a clueless wanderer. And into the vast oceans of information a wanderer is just bound to be lost. Map in your mind, what is research all about, what are the key points and what you hope to achieve as the conclusion of this research and does your information smoothly flows proving towards your conclusion? This makes the job of searching easier.

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6 Best Free Android Voice Recorder App | GetAndroidstuff

6 Best Free Android Voice Recorder App | GetAndroidstuff | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it
Capture high quality voice recordings on android with these best Voice Recorder App for Android

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Free Technology for Teachers: Seven Free Online Whiteboard Tools for Teachers and Students

Free Technology for Teachers: Seven Free Online Whiteboard Tools for Teachers and Students | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it

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Call for Papers 'eLearning Papers' (deadline extended to January 30)

Call for Papers 'eLearning Papers' (deadline extended to January 30) | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it

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How to Add Subtitles to YouTube Videos

How to Add Subtitles to YouTube Videos | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it
YouTube is a popular website for uploading your own videos for the whole world to see. Many people are familiar with YouTube, so if you upload a video it is likely many people will see it. But of course, we don't want people who speak your...

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Interactive Healthcare Improves Patient Knowledge, Satisfaction Ratings

Interactive Healthcare Improves Patient Knowledge, Satisfaction Ratings | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it
Emmi Solutions announced last week the results of a six-year study proving that its interactive healthcare programming led to higher customer satisfaction and higher Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems assessments, (HCAHPS) scores. Improvements in HCAHPS scores are important not only for the company's reflection of patient care, but also for the hospitals themselves as they try to build customer trust and loyalty.

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Alex Wade's curator insight, March 17, 5:16 AM

This long-term study demonstrates that using serious games in the delivery of healthcare education has positive benefits, particularly in areas where there is an impact on patient satisfaction, a challenge especially pertinent to NHS England, where there is an increased focus on the links between patient satisfaction and safety.


Also of interest here is that the improvement in scores for the clinical profession impacts upon lower readmission rates amongst patients, suggesting that the direction provided by this type of learning is permitting more effective treatment and therefore reduced costs. 


Increased satisfaction and lower costs are truly the holy grail of the global healthcare industry and this approach appears to be a good indication of the way forwards.

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The Ultimate Guide to The Use of Facebook in Education ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

The Ultimate Guide to The Use of Facebook in Education ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it

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Understanding mobile health trends and opportunities for clinical trials

Understanding mobile health trends and opportunities for clinical trials | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it

Mobile health is certainly a hot topic when it comes to patients monitoring their own health and pharma companies seeking deeper engagement with healthcare stakeholders, but Abbe Steel also sees a big application in facilitating more efficient drug development.

Mobile Health (mHealth) encompasses any patient health information accessed using mobile technology, such as a smart phone, tablet, or other wireless device. These health applications, or apps, provide diagnostic and treatment support, remote monitoring, data collection, awareness, wellness, training and education, and tracking.

Many of us are familiar with apps that help us track our caloric intake or log our activity. But apps can also be used to get lab results by phone, manage medications, and share health information instantly. Not only are more and more people using mobile devices to access medical information and download health applications, but physicians are increasingly relying on this technology to provide a portion of patient care and to receive information on the latest medical breakthroughs.


"Physicians are increasingly relying on this technology to provide a portion of patient care"


The emergence and popularity of patient-centric applications provides a great opportunity for pharmaceutical manufacturers to engage patients and create a customized, direct relationship with them. And the clinical trial space provides an excellent channel to leverage these technologies. The integration of mobile technology in new clinical trial designs and business strategy development holds promise for aligning site and patient needs with faster study execution and reduced costs.

Mobile technologies are already being used in clinical trial recruitment and retention, with the capacity to be used even more. Specific studies and opt-in databases have the potential to:


• Provide patients with access to studies they would not otherwise know about

• Allow investigative site staff access to several different formats of study materials and tools

• Offer site training in different iterations depending on the audience

• Personalize patient retention activities such as visit reminders, medication and diary reminders, and newer retention techniques such as gamification and online communities



Some of the newer technologies that have made their way into clinical trials designs include:

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): BYOD approaches allow study participants to use personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to send/access privileged study information and applications. Although there are significant issues to address – security concerns, HIPAA compliance, and the uniformity of the user experience – BYOD approaches may help patients be more compliant to study requirements, and could potentially increase patient retention because of the convenience of using their own devices.


"BYOD approaches allow study participants to use personally owned mobile devices"


Disease-specific medical devices: Wireless health devices (such as wireless glucose monitors or vital sign recorders) can be used to relay information to study sites. Depending on the protocol, portable hand-held devices that transmit data wirelessly might be considered, eliminating the need for some study mandated visits. With a wireless device -- for example, a spirometer for a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) study -- the study site staff can monitor the measurements patients obtain using the device in real-time along with all other electronic data being collected in the study.

Study-specific mobile applications: As an alternative to investigator kits to provide sites with reference material, mobile apps can provide a great deal of information in a more efficient and cost-effective way. Push alerts can also notify the sites of updates such as protocol amendments.

ePRO platforms: An ePRO (patient reported outcomes) platform can allow manufacturers and clinical research organizations to utilize a BYOD strategy. As hardware provisioning has made ePRO expensive, utilizing a BYOD option has reduced its uptake.

Text messaging: Many clinical trial patients choose text messaging over other response options such as phone and email and have shown a willingness to provide a large amount of information to determine their eligibility.



Benefits_of_Mobile_Health_Applications_Fig1


When is mobile health a good fit?

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding if your trial may be a good fit for implementing a mobile technology:

• Protocol - Does the protocol lend itself to the use of mHealth tactics? Review the schedule of assessments to see if any of the trial data can be captured electronically without the patient going to the site, and /or if mobile technology can be used for studies that require continual patient engagement for retention and increased compliance. Will the study rely more on patient-reported data or investigator assessments? Can the device collect the necessary specimens required in the study? Mobile technologies may not be as cost effective for studies relying heavily on investigator assessments or on specimen collection in the absence of a supporting mobile device technology.

• Patient population - The study demographic often dictates how practical and effective a proposed technology may be. For example, while remote health monitoring has been successfully used for years, some new mobile technologies rely on wireless Internet access, which may not be as readily available in certain areas or among older populations. Some patient populations also have special needs that require more face time with the physician, and in those cases biometric and other data collection may be best done at the site.

• Data integrity - Device-specific checkpoints and confirmations are a must. Without clean and quality data at the source, site staff is likely to assume a significant data verification burden.

• Adverse events - The system should include patient prompts to ensure that AEs are reported to a live person as soon as they occur.

• Technology adoption & operations management - Flexible user management allows investigators and sponsors to more effectively coordinate trial operations.

• Device shipments - For global studies, device usage and delivery must be customized per in-country regulations. All relevant languages must be supported, and all country-specific privacy regulations must be observed.

• Remote monitoring - The ability to monitor data remotely, via reports that sync device data with the electronic data capture, provides for optimal cost savings and efficiency.



"There are many opportunities to utilize mHealth strategies, apps and devices into a clinical program"


There are many opportunities to utilize mHealth strategies, apps and devices into a clinical program. And while there are important considerations when incorporating an mHealth solution in a clinical trial, this quickly evolving (and exciting) trend truly captures the new frontier of patient engagement.


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GoodFon.com - Free Wallpapers, download

GoodFon.com - Free Wallpapers, download | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it
Goodfon.com - is not just wallpapers, but it's a whole world of amazing images and photos on various subjects. You can download wallpapers, upload your photos, and share your feelings in comments!

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Broadening Your Content Marketing

Content Marketing has come of age. Gone are the days of creating spammy content (just for a link), instead, we are now looking to offer users real value. Howeve

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Peg Corwin's curator insight, January 29, 6:34 AM

Find CONTENT CREATION ideas and learn why they are important now.


If you like this scoop, please consider a thumbs up or share.

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13+1 tips to reduce presentation anxiety

Are you nervous before giving a presentation? This deck explains why are we afraid of public speaking and offers some tips to cope with presentation anxiety.

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Bernard Lamailloux's curator insight, January 31, 3:18 AM

Coooooooooooooool !...

BI Media Specialists's curator insight, January 31, 9:28 AM

We were just talking about how students give presentations in class.  This slideshare may help them with some of their anxiety.   It may be a good resource for students as they get ready for job, college, or scholarship interviews.

Monica Crane-Gatto's curator insight, January 31, 11:04 PM

Helpful to share with students!

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10 Best Free Skype Call Recorders (Windows/Mac/Linux) | Binary Head

Skype does not allow you to record the conversation or conference, but you can easily record the Skype calls or conversation using third party tools and can save them in audio files like MP3 or WAV.

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Maria Bossa's curator insight, January 22, 1:05 PM

Thanks dear Mbarek! :)

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Can the Internet and Social Media Help the Development of Healthcare?

Can the Internet and Social Media Help the Development of Healthcare? | Continious pharmacy education | Scoop.it

In a world frantically scrambling to adapt to the changing digital landscape, how has healthcare fared? Has the Internet and social media helped or hindered its development? Should the public turn to the Internet for medical advice? I enlisted the help of some leading voices in the field to unravel these questions and shed some much needed light on the topic.

 

Information technologies have already prompted a massive shift in the way medical information is accessed, with its capacity to transfer important knowledge from health professionals to the wider public. Social media, in particular, is a perfect vehicle for this.

As the tentacles of social media permeate into everyday life, doctors and healthcare organisations alike can leverage this power to circulate valuable information about health problems as well as self-care and prevention techniques.

 

As Lee Aase, Director at Mayo Clinic Social Media, confirms:

“By engaging in public, knowledgeable professionals can offer help and insights on a scale that was previously impossible. And by bringing their science-based perspective they can hopefully counter some of the bad information that has been so harmful to public health”


“The Journal of Internet Medical Research have suggested that 60% of adults used the internet to find health information”

It’s exactly this ‘bad information’ that makes searching online for medical advice fraught with dangers. For the more Internet savvy, this may not pose a problem, but, for the less educated, and the elderly, finding credible information on the web may be a troublesome task.

The reality is that anyone can publish on the internet, regardless of quality, which means that you could be confronted with information that is conflicting, confusing, or quite simply wrong.

 

From a runny nose to something more serious like a suspicious lump, people are heading to the web more and more; but, with more than 70,000 websites disseminating medical information, where should you visit?

 

According to Dr. Sarah Jarvis, clinical consultant at Patient.co.uk, your doctor can advise you on trusted sites to visit. Here in the UK, sites which have been awarded The Information Standard by the NHS, are particularly useful as medical resources:

 

"Patient.co.uk is fully accredited, and all the articles on the site are written by GPs, for GPs and their patients. They also provide full references to back up their content. Of the 11 million people who access the information onsite every month, almost a million are GPs and practice nurses – a ringing endorsement of the quality of the information."


However, can even the most reputable sites compare to the value of a face-to-face appointment with your GP? Dr. Leana Wen, physician and author of When Doctor’s Don’t Listen believes that the Internet should only be used to accompany a visit to the doctors:

"Don't use the Internet to make your diagnosis, but rather use it to formulate better questions to ask your doctor. Internet search engines can't replace seeing your doctor, because symptoms alone don't make your diagnosis--your history and physical exam do."

 

This is true; the benefits of a physical diagnosis cannot be completely replaced by a search online. However, the Internet and social media have other abilities that can improve healthcare, namely it’s capacity to bring patients with similar diseases together. Through Twitter chats and Facebook groups, like-minded patients can connect with one another for mutual support and knowledge sharing. Introducing trained medical professionals into these conversations will undoubtedly make these discussions more helpful.

 

“Doctors should always exercise caution when using Twitter as it can often lead to a conflict of interest, but as long as it’s used in responsible manner, Twitter can be the perfect platform to educate the public on a wide range of health issues.”Healthexpress Chief medical Advisor, Dr. Hilary Jones


Facebook is particularly good at grouping patients together.

In one simple click, you can become an active member of a community alongside others with similar interests.

These groups supply valuable opportunities to talk to one another while offering important information on breakthrough studies, news and advice for a specific condition, all of which will feature on a daily newsfeed.

 

A perfect example of a successful social media campaign can be observed with Diabetes.co.uk, a community website which has successfully built a global network to help people with diabetes worldwide. As well as promoting awareness for Diabetes, their social media platforms unite people with similar worries so they can share their stories and seek support.

 

In fact, the benefits of an extended support network on a persons health has been confirmed by several studies. Researchers from California carried out a large-scale study in 1979, which concluded that people with relatively low levels of social interaction died earlier than those with strong social networks.

 

By using social media, people are more likely to partake in social interaction and support. The possibilities have moved beyond the restraints of face-to-face contacts to an unlimited pool of people with shared interests and concerns.

As Medical Expert for NBC and regular on air guest for Fox News, Dr. Kevin Campbell testifies,

"Support groups are extremely valuable for patients--social media allows for patients from geographically diverse regions to interact in real time without even leaving their own homes."

“Social media connects. Social Media informs both patients and doctors. It enhances knowledge. It facilities communication. In healthcare, is there anything more powerful than knowledge and human connection?”Dr.John Mandrola, cardiologist

As well as improving doctor/patient relationships, Dr. Campbell believes that social media can develop relationships within doctors’ circles themselves. Doctors can now consult each other from anywhere in the world, meaning that ideas can be more easily disseminated, thus improving research and patient care.

 

However, many healthcare institutions are worried that the use of social media by their doctors may compromise patient privacy while threatening a doctor’s professional reputations. This has lead to many organisations devising their own guidelines for their doctors. Dr. John Mandrola, a cardiac electro physiologist and regular Twitter user, has created his own ‘Rules for Doctors on Social Media.’

 

There may be some risks to consider when integrating social media into a healthcare model, but the overwhelming power of social media as a tool to educate and distribute medical information cannot be ignored. If social media is to revolutionize healthcare and improve public health on a global level, health professionals must be actively involved in the process to guarantee that the information is completely reliable. With a community of doctors and specialists already discussing ethical problems and how to overcome these obstacles, the future of social media in healthcare is in good hands.



Read more: http://www.healthexpress.co.uk/blog/general-health/internet-social-media-healthcare.html?7144277=1#ixzz2qet0Nzw1 
Follow us: @healthexpress on Twitter


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