Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare
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Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare
The latest on making social media work for you
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How Social Media Is Shaking Up Public Health and Healthcare

How Social Media Is Shaking Up Public Health and Healthcare | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
From clinical healthcare to public health campaigns, the health industry is increasingly turning to social media to support, promote and increase the spread of information and data in order to impr...

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How healthcare systems can become digital-health leaders

How healthcare systems can become digital-health leaders | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
The potential of digitization is well understood, yet healthcare systems are struggling to convert ambition into reality. Here’s what we recommend. A McKinsey & Company article.

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Clinical Trials - Pharma in the Twittersphere

Clinical Trials - Pharma in the Twittersphere | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it

The merging of the modern advent of the public Twittersphere with the traditional methodology of clinical trials has provided a patient-centric, patient-driven, and patient-funded opportunity within disease treatment research.

Social media can contribute to nearly every aspect of a clinical trial, from development and recruitment, to sharing important information and findings with patients and researchers. Twitter, in particular, provides the public with a free flow of information and open sharing of ideas, and has been used extensively by patients looking for alternative treatment options. We investigate the unique opportunities provided by Twitter for clinical trials.

Using Twitter to develop clinical trials

With a background in clinical research, Rahlyn Gossen is the founder and digital strategist at Rebar Interactive – a specialist digital marketing company for clinical trials. According to Gossen, “Twitter is a great tool for clinical researchers to learn, converse, and connect. The Twitter conversations occurring among clinical research professionals are absolutely shaping the direction of clinical trials. I've ended up collaborating with other clinical researchers on projects because of conversations that occurred on Twitter. I also know of other clinical researchers on Twitter who have had similar experiences. Twitter is an especially great place to be if you are a clinical researcher interested in innovation.”

Indeed, opportunities abound for professionals working in the field of clinical research to make use of Twitter as a key social networking resource.  For example, #ACTsocial is a tweet chat for clinical trial professionals who want to learn how to use social media. By following #clinicaltrial, #clinicaltrials, or #clinicalresearch, anyone can follow conversations by patients, recruitment companies or researchers about ongoing trials, as well as provide their own insights and perspectives.

Twitter provides patients with an arena to air their concerns regarding the lack of treatment options for particular diseases. This allows researchers to use it as a listening mechanism to gain insight into the patients’ perspectives. Gossen remarks, “In contrast to social media platforms like Facebook, the default Twitter post is public. As a result, it's easier to see what people are saying about a particular topic. In addition, healthcare tweet chats have become a popular gathering spot for patients interested in particular conditions or topics. Using tools like Symplur, clinical researchers can find patient conversations relevant to their interests and gain a better understanding of patients". Symplur is a website that follows all pertinent healthcare hashtags through the Healthcare Hashtag Project. This makes it a useful site for researchers who wish to keep up-to-date with the latest developments in a particular field.

If a disease disproportionately affects those in low-income brackets, it might be worth having an open forum on patient support needs for long-term study (e.g. child care, transportation, meal support, etc.). To understand any disease means you need to have a solid impression of the day-to-day life of a patient and their struggles or concerns".

Many patients use Twitter as a forum to make public pleas to pharmaceutical companies to allow them to become involved in developing solutions to their diseases. By listening to the patients on hashtag tweet chats, researchers can develop more patient-centric clinical trials with more effective protocols. Barriers to the trials, such as low recruitment rates and poor patient retention, can be identified and overcome.

Dr Mike Thompson, Medical Director at Aurora Health Care, has made use of Twitter for clinical trials. He adds, “I think social media has been underutilized to crowdsource or crowdfund research.” While clinical trials can’t be developed in 140 characters, information can be shared. There are a number of clinical trials which have been developed through crowdsourcing, obtaining input from patients and physicians alike. Thompson is currently involved in the Myeloma Crowd Research Initiative, wherein Twitter is playing a pivotal role by providing crowdfunding and budgeting for multiple myeloma research.

According to Carmen Gonzalez, Communication Project Manager at Health Services Advisory Group, Inc., “Engaging patient advocates and disease-based communities is a good idea when seeking broad best practices for future study design. If a disease disproportionately affects those in low-income brackets, it might be worth having an open forum on patient support needs for long-term study (e.g. child care, transportation, meal support, etc.).  To understand any disease means you need to have a solid impression of the day-to-day life of a patient and their struggles or concerns.”

The forums on Twitter have become more organized, patient-centric and patient-engaged, which Thompson believes offers the potential to improve clinical trial accrual and design. Jack Whelan, a patient who has participated in seven clinical trials over the past seven years for an incurable blood cancer, explains, “There are many good Twitter Chat Groups such as #BCSM Breast Cancer Social Media and #MMSM Multiple Myeloma Social Media that are an information source about clinical trials.”

Twitter patient recruitment

Pharmaceutical companies developing clinical trials don’t tend to be directly involved in patient recruitment over Twitter, other than through the placing of short Twitter advertisements or micro-blogs. The main task of recruitment for clinical trials falls to recruitment agencies and patient advocates, and Twitter is becoming a key tool for these people.

By engaging patient advocates directly, you respect their prominence in the public sphere and let them make the call if they deem your client's research worthy of circulation. That respect creates goodwill.”

Gonzalez gives an example of using Twitter to recruit for a uterine fibroid clinical study she was involved in: “Demographically, many African-American women suffer from fibroids, so the need to reach this community was obvious. Twitter has the distinction of being over-represented by the African-American community as compared to other social media platforms. The question remained if a patient advocate was active online. As it turned out, there was an African leader who had created several social media venues to advocate for more research and support for women experiencing fibroids. I reached out to her, describing the study and sharing with her Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved tweets which contained links to the official study website. She agreed to broadcast them and that was extremely helpful, particularly in several southern states where the pharma company had launched clinical study sites.”

While the referrals garnered from these tweets were modest, they were impressive in terms of the Return on Investment (ROI) achieved and the relatively novel nature of the recruitment tool. Gonzalez adds, “By engaging patient advocates directly, you respect their prominence in the public sphere and let them make the call if they deem your client's research worthy of circulation. That respect creates goodwill.”

Thompson comments that individuals can share open studies or nationally available trials: “Many institutions and the National Cancer Institute share information about clinical trials, including links to ClincalTrials.Gov. Companies can also use the ClinicalTrials.Gov "NCT" number with a hashtag before it to track clinical trials on social media.” Twitter is also used to increase awareness of resources.  

Sharing information on Twitter

By explaining the full gamut of regulatory obligations and the potential risks of study participation, the pharmaceutical industry would gain a great deal of trust.”

Perhaps the most important aspect of recruitment is patient education. “If investigators regularly engaged the public to demystify the research process, perhaps through weekly tweet-chats, the notion of volunteering for trials wouldn't seem so abstract,” suggests Gonzelez. “The reporting of side-effects isn't well understood, so this could be a great forum to explain it. For example, every single side-effect has to be reported to the FDA, but it might not even be related to the investigated drug. Let's say you take a study drug and during the trial you break your leg. That ‘side-effect’ has to be reported. By explaining the full gamut of regulatory obligations and the potential risks of study participation, the pharmaceutical industry would gain a great deal of trust.”

From a patient’s perspective, Whelan is more cautious in this respect: “Although Twitter might help point patients in the right direction for more education about clinical trials as an effective treatment option, I've not seen any real value of using Twitter except for broadcasting short messages to targeted patient populations.” Nevertheless, it is evident that Twitter can be more effectively utilized as a patient education tool in clinical trials than it currently is.

While Twitter can’t be relied upon for gathering scientific data relevant and necessary for a clinical trial, this doesn’t render the platform worthless. Social media has opened the world up to a diversity of people, and Twitter in particular has allowed patients to connect with others experiencing the same symptoms and attempting the same treatments as them. This has made patients feel less isolated by their disease as they can join communities of people worldwide who understand their particular circumstances. For example, PatientsLikeMe is a real-time online research platform that allows patients to share their experiences of numerous diseases in communities of other patients like themselves. Patients aren’t confined by the same lack of official guidance and protocols that are preventing pharmaceutical companies from engaging in the public forum. By monitoring these hashtag conversations, researchers can obtain more information about the impact and side-effects of drugs in clinical trials.

“It's less common for clinical trials to have a Twitter presence or for clinical research sponsors to engage with patients on Twitter,” notesGossen, “Sponsors tend to be more wary of using Twitter to communicate with patients. This wariness mostly stems from a lack of understanding about the platform and the perception that Twitter conversations are difficult to control.”

Using Twitter to disseminate findings from clinical trials

Pharma companies are required to report their findings from clinical trials to the relevant authorities and sometimes, in addition, they publish results on their own websites. Gonzalez believes, “Broadcasting links to study results on their websites would be a great idea to share news of study results.” Thompson has also used Twitter for this purpose by tweeting links to information he wishes to share. In this way, the abstract or publication of a single trial can be shared more widely, or generalized information about clinical trials and clinical care can be disseminated. Thompson adds, “Twitter can also link to blogs, Facebook or other forum groups allowing more nuanced discussions and sharing of information.”

Patients can often feel forgotten after the conclusion of clinical trials. Some pharmaceutical companies have recognised this and aim to make the results of the clinical trials available on Twitter hashtag conversations or communities. These reports are carefully worded, so that they can be easily understood by the layperson, allowing patients to gain access to the findings that they were a part of and celebrate the role they played in the study.

The future of #ClinicalTrials

Patients are urgently requesting more involvement in the processes of clinical trials, driving patient-centric research forward. Concepts such as the Patient-Centered Clinical Trial, recently introduced by eyeforpharma, are gaining recognition from major drug makers.1 PCCT rely on clinical trial teams that engage the patient across multiple touch points. Researchers can share information online, thereby reducing repetition and increasing innovation.Thompson believes that a more involved, connected and informed public can help fund research. Gossen hopes that more sponsors will consider a Twitter presence for clinical trials in the future: “Twitter is a great venue to increase awareness of clinical trials, dispel misconceptions, and connect with influencers. In addition, Twitter provides a unique opportunity to engage with patients who are often underrepresented in clinical trials.”

While Twitter has been used for a variety of clinical trial stages, there is still much untapped potential. Pharmaceutical companies have been hindered in their growth in the Twittersphere by regulations that were designed before social media took the digital world by storm. The expansion of knowledge and research can only be improved by making use of all available resources – Twitter included.

- See more at: http://social.eyeforpharma.com/research-development/clinical-trials-pharma-twittersphere#sthash.YTkZrQE9.dpuf

 


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With Samsung's 'Bio-Processor,' Wearable Health Tech Is About To Get Weird

With Samsung's 'Bio-Processor,' Wearable Health Tech Is About To Get Weird | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it

On Tuesday, Samsung announced that it would begin mass producing its first-ever "Bio-Processor." This is a new processor specifically designed for the monitoring and computing of physiological metrics such as heart rate, skin temperature, body fat, heart rhythm, muscle mass, and stress levels. In short, the human body will spew data like never before.The Bio-Processor isn't quite a processor as we normally think about it, which is a generic piece of hardware (a CPU) that handles basic arithmetic, logic, and input-output operations based on instructions delivered via a computer program that may or may not involve more advanced I/O hardware, memory devices, GPUs, and-or any of the other things that add up to being a "complete" computer. It's more properly a "system on a chip" (SOC), which is much as it sounds: the processor plus all of the other junk all loaded onto a single discrete hardware unit.The actual CPU of the Bio-Processor is an ARM Cortex-M4. This is a pretty common processor for embedded microcontrollers, particularly for industrial and scientific applications, and is very cheap. It so happens I have one in front of me stuck to a Texas Instruments development board (sort of like a beefed-up, data-able Arduino) and I think the whole thing cost around $12 with shipping.That's the thing about the M4. It's meant for data and data is what health monitoring is all about. The Bio-Processor puts a bunch of sensors on the same chip as the M4 itself along with the system's memory units, security units, and an analog front-end (so it can read analog data and handle it digitally). The Samsung Bio-Processor product page advertises as well the inclusion of a DSP (digital signal processing) unit, which is a necessary feature for data applications and also happens to come integrated with ARM's M4 processor anyway.So, now we have all of this data. Cool. What now?That's the implicit question in the whole health-monitoring rush. The answer is implied too, of course: "be healthier." Assuming that you are not currently in an ICU, is knowing the volume of your organs in real-time (via photoplethysmogra) or your galvanic skin response (a super-problematic measurement of the skin's varying electrical conductance properties) or even your ECG actually useful information? Or is it just another thing to obsess about?As you answer, it's worth considering the enormous bets being placed on health-monitoring technology by Samsung, Apple, and many others. Consumers obsessing over health data is the new thing, an inescapable psueudoscience supernova, which is maybe not a great indicator of the state of new things circa 2016.Des Spence, a UK general practitioner, put this well in a piece last April in the BMJ, writing that "health and fitness have become the new social currency, spawning a 'worried well' generation."Spence continues:Most medical research and diagnoses are based on isolated readings taken in medical clinics in symptomatic, older, high risk individuals, by doctors who can interpret results—not by young, asymptomatic, middle class neurotics continuously monitoring their vital signs while they sleep. So what will users of these apps discover? How common brief arrhythmias are in the normal population? How often our blood pressure might be high? How widely normal oxygen saturations can vary? The variation in the heart rate of an intrauterine baby? What happens if these gizmos malfunction or are placed in the wrong position? How will it change our management? Who can interpret the results? What if parents want to start monitoring their children? Where’s the evidence that these things will improve diagnosis?It's a good rant, but what he fears is probably unavoidable: "A Wild West approach to development is playing out and will use the advertising classic—fear—to sell product. War, pestilence, and famine are all out to grass; technology, medicine, and overdiagnosis are the new riders of the Apocalypse."


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Designing With The Patient in Mind

Designing With The Patient in Mind | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
Marie Ennis-O'Conner explains how the potential of digital technology will never be realized if unless the stakeholders work alongside patients in co-designing

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5 healthcare marketing trends to watch in 2016

5 healthcare marketing trends to watch in 2016 | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
The top marketing trends that healthcare organizations of all sizes and budgets can—and should—be on top of in 2016.

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15 Reasons Twitter is Worth Physicians’ Time

15 Reasons Twitter is Worth Physicians’ Time | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
When we encourage Mayo Clinic physicians to get involved in Twitter, many are at least willing to give it a [...]

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Leveraging Twitter for Insights on Patient Experience

Leveraging Twitter for Insights on Patient Experience | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
Hospital marketers can use Twitter and other social media tools in conjunction with HCAHPS and other surveys to paint a clearer picture of the organiz

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Virtual Patient Communities

Virtual Patient Communities | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
Virtual patient communities offer support and information to cancer patients.

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Anne_W's curator insight, November 10, 2015 11:11 PM

Un exemple de communauté qui est certainement amené à se développer. C'est très dur aujourd’hui de vivre en se sentant isolé par la maladie. Tant les malades que leurs proches ont besoin d'échanger, de communiquer. Dans de nombreux cas, Internet est un support très précieux, puisqu’il permet de mettre en relation des personnes de n'importe où et pas seulement de la rue d'à côté...

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Study: Twitter Data Could Supplement Hospital Quality Surveys

Study: Twitter Data Could Supplement Hospital Quality Surveys | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
A study by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital finds patients' tweets could be used to supplement hospital quality improvement surveys. Although the researchers found no direct relationship between the tweets and quality improvement surveys, they say the Twitter data capture patient sentiments in an unsolicited way and provide a broader view than surveys. FierceHealthcare, BMJ Quality & Safety.

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Helen Adams's curator insight, October 19, 2015 7:45 AM

I would suggest that patients are likely to be honest on social media than in a survey

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Doctolib Grabs $20 Million For Its Booking Platform For Doctors #doctors20 #digitalhealth

Doctolib Grabs $20 Million For Its Booking Platform For Doctors #doctors20 #digitalhealth | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
French startup Doctolib just raised a $20 million Series B round from Accel and business angels. Doctolib is the leading platform to book doctor appointments..

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Denise Silber's curator insight, October 13, 2015 8:28 AM

While it is young and not yet the biggest, Doctolib considers itself the leading platform for appointments and it now has some nice financing to support it. Congratulations to the team that founded "The Fork" / La Fourchette.

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Mette Dyhrberg talks about application of patient-generated data and self-tracking at Doctors 2.0 & You 2015 #doctors20

Mette Dyhrberg talks about application of patient-generated data and self-tracking at Doctors 2.0 & You 2015 #doctors20 | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it

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Denise Silber's curator insight, September 26, 2015 5:52 PM

Quick video présentation about how patients can be key to own recovery

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Meet the people using social media to make a difference | Features | Nursing Times

Meet the people using social media to make a difference | Features | Nursing Times | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
In this list, the first of its kind, we highlight the work of clinicians, patients and families who have used social media as a powerful force for change and as a way to inspire, campaign, spread best practice and raise awareness

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Oncology dominates healthcare conversation on Twitter

Oncology dominates healthcare conversation on Twitter | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
This week at the 9th annual Digital Pharma East conference, Katie Collins (@KECollins28), healthcare strategist at Twitter, reported that cancer-related tweets are dominating healthcare conversation. In the past year, there were over 44 million tweets in reference to cancer. Heart disease was a distant second with 14.5 million tweets. Katie shared that this activity was …

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How the Pharma industry uses Social Media [Infographic]

How the Pharma industry uses Social Media [Infographic] | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
Research shows Pharma has been slow on the uptake, but massive opportunities await New communications technology has the potential to both disrupt and enha. Marketing topic(s):Social media marketing. Advice by Robert Allen.

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rob halkes's curator insight, January 27, 12:17 PM

Nice Infographic about the actual use of social media by pharma (click through to original post)

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Using Social Media to Inform Patients in Real Time

Using Social Media to Inform Patients in Real Time | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
Interview With Dr. Michael Thompson (@MTMDPhD), Medical Director, Early Phase Cancer Research Program, University of Wisconsin
Alongside interviewer Carol Preston, Dr. Michael Thompson explores some of the new and exciting technology utilized in healthcare and the benefits it presents. To make medical meetings and conferences accessible to all ...

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Social Media in Hematology

Social Media in Hematology | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
Dr. Laura Michaelis discusses the ways to use social media for your healthcare and its benefits.

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How Twitter Can Help Bolster Your Hospital’s Patient Experience Strategy

How Twitter Can Help Bolster Your Hospital’s Patient Experience Strategy | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
With the proliferation of social media sites like Twitter, everyone has become a critic, creating are troves of publicly available, untapped information about hospital performance just waiting to be mined. With that notion in mind, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital recently set about trying to make sense of tens of thousands of tweets sent to the handles of U.S. hospitals. They found all sorts of useful tidbits about what patients are seeing and hearing during their hospital visits, along with a tangible connection between whether . . .

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Complete list of all the Apple ResearchKit medical study apps - iMedicalApps

Complete list of all the Apple ResearchKit medical study apps - iMedicalApps | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
One way clinical researchers can help understand how ResearchKit may improve their own work is to see how its already being used.

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Is Tweeting Part of the Hippocratic Oath?

Is Tweeting Part of the Hippocratic Oath? | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
Doctors should tweet about things they are learning, trends they observe, links to helpful articles about topics like flu shots or seasonal allergies or any other information they think may be valuable to the public.

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Millions Fall Prey To This Deadly Breast Cancer Myth

Millions Fall Prey To This Deadly Breast Cancer Myth | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
Millions of asymptomatic women undergo breast screening annually because their doctors tell them to do so. Not only are these women's presumably healthy breasts being exposed to highly carcinogenic x-rays, but thousands have received a diagnosis of 'breast cancer' for entirely benign lesions that when left untreated would have caused no harm to them whatsoever.

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The power of social media to help clinicians and patients

The power of social media to help clinicians and patients | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
In a pub in Dublin in 2012, Mike Cadogan, an Australian emergency physician coined a term that would take social media by storm. Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM) and its accompanying hashtag #FOAMed would become syn...

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Patients' social media posts may be the next big thing for big data

Patients' social media posts may be the next big thing for big data | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
Mining patients' social media data could provide enormous insight into overall health outcomes, according to a new study conducted by University of Pennsylvania researchers.

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TiffanyandLupus's curator insight, October 22, 2015 4:34 PM

Here's a prime example of researchers engaging with patients and making use of the information shared daily to improve healthcare outcomes. Would love to see this study re-approached using data from patient advocates.

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#Handhygiene needs your help and #socialmedia. Pr. Pittet (Geneva Univ. Hospitals) explains why at Doctors 2.0 & You #doctors20

#Handhygiene needs your help and #socialmedia. Pr. Pittet (Geneva Univ. Hospitals) explains why at Doctors 2.0 & You #doctors20 | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it

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Denise Silber's curator insight, September 25, 2015 9:47 PM

Professor Pittet has carried this issue of hand hygiene in hospitals from step to step along the path of a solution - ie combatting hospital infection successfully. Learn more about where we are and how you can help.

 

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Texting via Mobile Devices Lowers Blood Pressure, Cholesterol - mHealthIntelligence

Texting via Mobile Devices Lowers Blood Pressure, Cholesterol - mHealthIntelligence | Utilizing Social Media in Healthcare | Scoop.it
Various medical conditions could be supported with the help of mobile devices and mHealth applications.

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