Review of Twitter for infectious diseases clinicians: useful or a waste of time?

Clin Infect Dis. 2015 May 15;60(10):1533-40. doi: 10.1093/cid/civ071. Epub 2015 Feb 4.

Abstract

Twitter is a social networking service that has emerged as a valuable tool for healthcare professionals (HCPs). It is the only platform that allows one to connect, engage, learn, and educate oneself and others in real time on a global scale. HCPs are using social media tools to communicate, educate, and engage with their peers worldwide. Twitter allows HCPs to deliver easily accessible "real-time" clinical information on a global scale. Twitter has more than 500 million active users who generate more than 58 million tweets and 2.1 billion search queries every day. Here, we explain why Twitter is important, how and when an infectious diseases (ID) HCP should use Twitter, the impact it has in disseminating ID news, and its educational value. We also describe various tools within Twitter, such as Twitter Chat, that connect and bond HCPs on a specific topic. Twitter may help ID HCPs teach others about the global responsible use of antimicrobials in a world of escalating antimicrobial resistance.

Keywords: Twitter; education; infectious diseases; social media.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Data Collection*
  • Epidemiologic Methods*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods*
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors