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Why Should You Attend Blog World Expo?

I’m a speaker at Blog World Expo, Los Angeles, on November 4th, 2011. And guess what? Four Better Health contributors will be joining me! Nick Genes, Kim McAllister, Terri Pollick, and Kerri Sparling will all be part of the Social Health track. You can get discount tickets my clicking on the Blog World Expo icon on the top right of the Better Health home page. We all hope to see you there!

For those of you who are on the fence about going – here’s what I’ve been asked to talk about: “physicians engaging online in social health.”

You’ll learn about:

1. How I used Twitter to help patients when there was a flu vaccine shortage

2. How I use podcasting to teach about eye health and vision care

3. How I use blogging to instruct families on healthy eating strategies to prevent illness

4. How I use telemedicine and mobile devices (at eDocAmerica and DocTalker Family Medicine) to answer patient questions in rural areas, where there is a doctor shortage

If you work in healthcare, then the Social Health track is a must-attend. Not only will you find out about cutting edge trends in healthcare communications, but you’ll get to rub elbows with early-adopter physicians, nurses, and advocates who are using innovative digital strategies to deliver care, educate patients, and change the world.

And for those who will be attending the conference for other reasons, but are wondering if they should stop by the Social Health sessions… It will be a great opportunity for you to learn how to use online resources more effectively to care for yourself and your family’s health (and save money in the process).  Or think of it this way: at some point everyone needs a doctor… that includes parenting bloggers, military bloggers, god bloggers, political bloggers, and tech bloggers. So let’s meet each other at Blog World Expo!

* You could snag a live, in-person conference ticket and save 20%. Enter the code “BWEVIP20″ for the discount.

Are Social Networks Compatible Or Competitive?

The BlogWorld Panel - Kerri Sparling, Kevin Pho, and Bryan VartabedianI was in Las Vegas, but it wasn’t all just spending quality time with blogging buddies.  There was work to do — we were there for the Social Health track of BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2010 to help inform others about the discussions taking place in the medical blogosphere, and the power of these communities. 

The panel that I was participating on was Social Networks & The Medical Blogosphere:  Compatible or Competitive, with fellow panelists Kevin Pho and Bryan Vartabedian (see photo) moderated by the fabulous Kim McAllister. The big question was: “Are these social networking technologies helping or hurting the blogosphere?”

We, as a panel, gave this a lot of thought as we prepared for our discussion, and we ultimately settled on the answer of “Well…both.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Marketing: Direct to e-Patient

Patients are the new darling of the medical-industrial complex. If you look around you will see patients advocating for one another. If you click a little closer you’ll find some with relationships to industry.

It makes perfect sense that the manufacturer of a drug or medical device would want the blessings of our nascent cybercelebs. Some want genuine patient input.  Some, however, want to curry their favor. Chock up influence of the patient population as evidence of social health’s evolving maturity.

A couple of questions:

  • Will industry be required to publicly list monies used for sponsorship, travel and swag support of high profile patients in the social sphere?
  • Should high visibility patients who serve as stewards and advocates disavow themselves of contact with pharma just as many academic medical centers have begun?

As is often the case, I don’t have an answer. I’m just raising the questions. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

The Health Hive: Is It Ready For Primetime?

Maybe not according to this report from the CDC. They studied Internet use with respect to adherence behavior and a number of health-related outcomes. It suggests that folks who diss the doc in favor of the Internet may not do as well as we think.

This quote caught me:

The data also revealed that personal determinants such as neuroticism (reflects anxiety and emotionality) and health-related poorer quality of life differentiated internet-instigated non-adherent respondents from their counterparts.

More plainly put: If you trust your life to an anonymous guy on Twitter with the handle @YourHealthGuru, you might not do as well as if you partnered with a trained professional. Or perhaps I’m reading too much into the study. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Live Longer With Strong Social Ties

A study published in the July PLoS Medicine is getting a lot of press for its conclusion that strong social networks are related to increased lifespan.

The meta-analysis of 148 studies involving 308,849 people found that those with stronger relationships were 50 percent more likely to survive over 7.5 years of follow-up. What’s more, the researchers reported that a lack of strong social ties is as bad healthwise as drinking or smoking, and worse than not exercising or being obese.

But although the association between strong social ties and improved longevity seems robust, other factors could be at play, and applying the findings in clinical practice could be difficult. And sorry, Facebook fanatics: Online “friendships” aren’t thought to count as much as in-person ones do. (PLoS Medicine, New York Times, TIME, The Atlantic)

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

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