Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2

Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2

We are so fond of one another because our ailments are the same. – Johnathon Swift
The number of healthcare conversations taking place on Twitter is truly staggering.  And, as many of you are aware, we’ve made an attempt to organize these conversations via the Healthcare Hashtag Project.  Our initial launch of this ever growing list of health related hashtags for Twitter was focused on the “business of healthcare”.  But we announced early on that it was our intent to add a section that would include disease hashtags to the mix.  However, over the ensuing months a number of individuals began beating us to the punch, submitting disease related hashtags that we readily accepted (i.e., #autism, #diabetes, #rheum, and more).

 

Patients on Twitter use disease hashtags

Well, we’re finally catching up with a progressive community of patients who are remarkably active in healthcare social media.

Today I’m pleased to announce the launch of a new section on our site that’s dedicated to Twitter hashtags related to diseases, conditions, and other personal health related topics.  Once again, our goal is to lower the barrier to entry for physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals who are interested in integrating healthcare social media into their respective businesses.  And what better way to do that than to invite the patient, caregiver, and healthcare provider communities to collectively join one another in these active discussions where each has an interest, concern, and a contribution to make.

 

A curated list of Twitter Hashtags for diseases, conditions, and related discussions

eating disorder social media

To develop this list beyond those related hashtags already submitted to us, we used disease lists from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other reputable sources.  From there we began conducting manual Twitter searches using the diseases listed.  Then, visually scanning the tweets returned, we looked for all the hashtags being used to reference those subjects.  We screened for critical mass in the conversations, excessive use of the hashtags in a non-healthcare context, and those health hashtags that are overwhelmed with spam.  Lastly, we loosely organized the list based on the related categories for these respective diseases found in the ICD-9-CM.  Having sorted all that out, we’re excited to present an inaugural set of 155 hashtags that are dedicated to meaningful discussions related to over 100 various diseases, conditions and related topics centered on the health concerns of patients in our Twitter community.

However, there were two considerable obstacles in developing this list in a manner that allowed it to be a useful tool for our healthcare community.  And these obstacles may still present some challenges for serious users.

I’m talking about spam and vulgarity.  Read on …

 

Healthcare Spam on Twitter … #AnnoyingTheConsumer

hashtag spam

By spam I’m referring to some health conditions, and their related hashtags, as being overwhelmed on Twitter by the extremely excessive tweeting of products or services for sale to address the related condition.  This is an unfortunate example of organizations who may, or may not, have something of value to offer to those interested in the health topic at hand … but completely miss the the “social aspect” of social media.  Their boorish, even offensive broadcasting drowns out meaningful healthcare conversations … and is actually the “anti-conversation” that pervades a segment of health conditions on Twitter.

 

Misguided and Offensive Use of Health Hashtags … #Sad

Sadly, perhaps even more troubling than the spam issue discussed above, is the sometimes vulgar use of these disease hashtags.  I’m referring to those who use these conditions as a means of insulting people, putting them down, and belittling them.  This is a sad commentary on a segment of our global society.  I bring this up because I want to warn you that certain hashtags, even though we’ve screened much of this out, are going to find some tweets from the uninformed, crass, and immature members of Twitter at large.

 

Take Control of health related hashtags on Twitter!

To the issues of spam and vulgarity, I say, “Take control!”  Some people are comfortable directly challenging and confronting those Twitter users who are interfering with the real conversations.  And I personally commend those who do.  However, I’d like to invite our global healthcare community to chime in on possible methods to collectively clear the air of these obstacles.

So, in keeping the Healthcare Hashtag Project social … what are your thoughts?  Should we identify and list the spammers, chastise the offensive, or just ignore it?  Something else?

I’m seriously interested in your comments on this.

 

This is a Social Project … so contribute, share, and make it grow

The Healthcare Hashtag Project is once again relying on the Twitter community to add new hashtags to the list.  However, as always, we curate these hashtags.  So this is a place to register those conversations that are already taking place.  And please understand that we vet every submission to be sure that it’s appropriate for inclusion, because we want to keep this list clear of stagnant, spam-laden, or multi-topic hashtags.  We do this for the good of everyone.

With all that said … please come step into the first official list of “Disease, Conditions, and Related Disorders Twitter Hashtags”.  And, just like with our initial launch of this project, we invite you to … “take it for a spin, let us know what you think, and to help us build a more well connected healthcare community.”

 

Disease, Conditions, and Related Disorders Twitter Hashtags

About the Author

Thomas M. Lee, B.S., NHA – @tmlfoxConsultant to the Healthcare Industry. 30+ yrs experience in healthcare business operations. Acute care, skilled nursing, physician practice, and outpatient therapy. Partner at Symplur & The Fox Group. Passionate about healthcare social media. +

61 Comments
  1. Liz Panton
    Liz Panton01-29-2012

    This is an excellent project! I have used the Healthcare Hashtags Project and can attest that the Healthcare Hashtags Project team act very quickly to authorise suggested tags and are very friendly and helpful.

    The Transcript feature is very useful for a “catchup” after real-time conversations have whizzed by or if the conference or chat is in a way-different time zone. Being able to print or save pdf’s of the transcripts is also a great help. Twitter is blocked for most clinical staff across the NHS in the UK so I have used the Hashtags Project to create pdf’s to share with colleagues.

    I didn’t know about the Foxepractice (now Symplur) Healthcare Hashtags project when I started using Twitter. I came across lots of abbreviation and acronym hashtags in my field, Speech & Language Therapy, that I could not immediately decode.

    Knowing that I could not be the only one, I started a collaborative dictionary of Speech & Language Hashtags at http://j.mp/sltags

    This was as a contribution to two UK campaigns about Speech, Language and Communication Disability, http://www.givingvoiceuk.org #givingvoiceuk and http://www.hello.org.uk #hello_2011 – and then a follower of a follower on Twitter pointed me to the Healthcare Hashtags project! I have since put a link to the Heathcare Hashtags Project on http://j.mp/sltags

    @Audvin tweeted yesterday about another article in this blog: Speaking personally: where to give voice to healthcare interests on the social web http://ow.ly/8IO0g

    I didn’t immediately link this in my mind with the Healthcare Hashtags Project but I was intrigued by @Audvin saying to “give voice”, due to involvement with the #givingvoiceuk campaign.

    I am glad I followed that up but am ashamed to say that it has reminded me that I have not kept a resolution I made last year, ie. to submit the Speech & Language hashtags I have spotted to the Healthcare Hashtags Project.

    As I obviously cannot be trusted to remember to do this, I would be grateful if someone from Symplur could follow the Twitter ID that I use to give notice of new Speech & Language hashtags: @SLTags and decide if you want the add them to the Healthcare Hashtags Project?

    These are not necessarily “disease” hashtags but are “healthcare” abbreviations and acronyms that I have spotted in use as hashtags. For example, the latest added is:

    #SpLD “Specific Learning Difficulties defined here http://j.mp/yHdff1 as including: dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, #ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder, #ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, #ASD – Autistic Spectrum Disorders”

    It is interesting that some of these terms have been invented for use on Twitter and have spread into wider use. The classic one for my field is #slpeeps (Speech & Language People) invented by @SLPTanya

    Many thanks again for such a useful service – and for providing it for free!

    • Thomas M. Lee, B.S., NHA
      Thomas M. Lee, B.S., NHA02-05-2012

      Wow! Thank you, Liz for such a fine contribution.

      Adding hashtags to this project isn’t difficult at all. Take a look at this link and I think you’ll agree – http://www.symplur.com/social/

      However, my natural curiosity has got the best of me, so I’ve already begun exploring the list of Speech & Language Hashtags that you’ve been compiling. If you’ll bear with me, I’ll review these for inclusion. But do try to take a stab at it yourself as you identify new health conversations on Twitter. You’ll feel good about it … and be able to claim that your resolution was kept. ;-)

      • Liz Panton
        Liz Panton02-06-2012

        Dear Thomas,

        Thank you for your very kind comments and I hope that you find some helpful Hashtags in my list :-)

        To reassure anyone else reading this, I do agree that it is very easy to add new hashtags to the Symplur Healthcare Hashtags Project – it is just that:

        a) I am very forgetful, and

        b) now that I have organised myself to be less forgetful, using ToodleDo, I find I have a “to do” list as long as several arms!

        Best wishes,
        Liz

Leave a Comment


  1. @healthhashtags
    Healthcare Hashtags – @healthhashtagsJanuary 24th, 2012

    New Health Hashtag: Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/K9bXvzAw Stats+Archive #hcsm

  2. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxJanuary 24th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/K5a245SP #epatient #hcsmeu #hcsmeuES

  3. @blogbrevity
    Angela Dunn – @blogbrevityJanuary 24th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/K5a245SP #epatient #hcsmeu #hcsmeuES

  4. @angel189
    Angel Gonzalez – @angel189January 24th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/K5a245SP #epatient #hcsmeu #hcsmeuES

  5. @angel189
    Angel Gonzalez – @angel189January 24th, 2012

    RT @tmlfox: Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/2ynRskUq #epatient #hcsmeu #hcsmeuES

  6. @facturacionpr
    Beatrice M. Diaz PMB – @facturacionprJanuary 24th, 2012

    New Health Hashtag: Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/K9bXvzAw Stats+Archive #hcsm

  7. @hukka6
    Eija Hukka – @hukka6January 25th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter. http://t.co/yVqeM5je

  8. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxJanuary 25th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/K5a245SP #epatient #hcsmeu

  9. @briansmcgowan
    Brian S. McGowan PhD – @briansmcgowanJanuary 25th, 2012

    Symplur: Disease Hashtags on Twitter – the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 by @tmlfox http://t.co/5FY6FHQw #meded #CMEchat

  10. @symplur
    Symplur – @symplurJanuary 26th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2: “We are so fond of one anot… http://t.co/V2qxldoO #hcsm #hcsmeu

  11. @drerikbrady
    Erik Brady – @drerikbradyJanuary 26th, 2012

    Symplur: Disease Hashtags on Twitter – the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 by @tmlfox http://t.co/5FY6FHQw #meded #CMEchat

  12. @blogbrevity
    Angela Dunn – @blogbrevityJanuary 26th, 2012

    @letwittimate Nice 2 meet you Liz! Have U seen the Healthcare Hashtag Project has moved? > now @Symplur w/ new section http://t.co/0bvR2SO1

  13. @mtmdphd
    Mike Thompson, MDPhD – @mtmdphdJanuary 27th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2: “We are so fond of one anot… http://t.co/V2qxldoO #hcsm #hcsmeu

  14. @drpam
    DrPam – @drpamJanuary 27th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2: “We are so fond of one anot… http://t.co/V2qxldoO #hcsm #hcsmeu

  15. @rdesain
    Rachel de Sain – @rdesainJanuary 27th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2: “We are so fond of one anot… http://t.co/V2qxldoO #hcsm #hcsmeu

  16. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxJanuary 27th, 2012

    Healthcare Hashtag Project added 150+ Disease Hashtags. Share & help #patients, #caregivers connect http://t.co/tbbM7M4o #hcsm

  17. @sltags
    Liz Panton – @sltagsJanuary 29th, 2012

    We are so fond of one another because our ailments are the same: Johnathan Swift | Twitter Disease Hashtags http://t.co/ZX2CLmJz @symplur

  18. @msmousette
    Liz Panton – @msmousetteJanuary 29th, 2012

    We are so fond of one another because our ailments are the same: Johnathan Swift | Twitter Disease Hashtags http://t.co/QOBWbxKV @symplur

  19. @salt_mine
    Liz Panton MRCSLT – @salt_mineJanuary 29th, 2012

    We are so fond of one another because our ailments are the same: Johnathan Swift | Twitter Disease Hashtags http://t.co/mjx1ooak @symplur

  20. @pirateslt
    Liz Panton – @piratesltJanuary 29th, 2012

    We are so fond of one another because our ailments are the same: Johnathan Swift | Twitter Disease Hashtags http://t.co/66dOlQxZ @symplur

  21. @foxggf
    Gunter Dymkova-Fuchs – @foxggfFebruary 2nd, 2012

    #Disease #Hashtags on Twitter … the #Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 #hcsm #doctor http://t.co/M7Sb4KNM

  22. @hjluks
    Howard Luks – @hjluksFebruary 5th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/h0U9n3EH via @symplur

  23. @phlu
    Ross D. Silverman – @phluFebruary 5th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/h0U9n3EH via @symplur

  24. @danbax76
    Dan Baxter – @danbax76February 5th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/h0U9n3EH via @symplur

  25. @danbax76
    Dan Baxter – @danbax76February 5th, 2012

    RT @hjluks: Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/f6MeKp8i via @symplur

  26. @j2novack
    John Novack – @j2novackFebruary 5th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/h0U9n3EH via @symplur

  27. @nursethestrings
    Derf – @nursethestringsFebruary 5th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/h0U9n3EH via @symplur

  28. @danbrostek
    Dan Brostek – @danbrostekFebruary 5th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/h0U9n3EH via @symplur

  29. @picardonhealth
    André Picard – @picardonhealthFebruary 5th, 2012

    The Healthcare #Hashtag Project http://t.co/JcIJdF10 via @symplur @hjluks

  30. @hjpullen
    Heather Pullen – @hjpullenFebruary 5th, 2012

    Great initiative. Count me in! RT @picardonhealth The Healthcare #Hashtag Project http://t.co/Y6bgT1ha via @symplur @hjluks

  31. @infectenthuse
    Amanda V – @infectenthuseFebruary 5th, 2012

    The Healthcare #Hashtag Project http://t.co/JcIJdF10 via @symplur @hjluks

  32. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxFebruary 5th, 2012

    The Healthcare #Hashtag Project http://t.co/JcIJdF10 via @symplur @hjluks

  33. @artappleaday
    Jennifer Visscher – @artappleadayFebruary 8th, 2012

    I just added two hashtags to the Healthcare Hashtag Project! #teamspondy and #spondylitis http://t.co/ZkNHFGq4

  34. @audvin
    Audun Utengen – @audvinFebruary 16th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/wsut0iA4 #hcsm #hcsmeu

  35. @nutrispeaking
    Michaela Ballmann RD – @nutrispeakingFebruary 16th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/wsut0iA4 #hcsm #hcsmeu

  36. @dreamingspires
    Heidi Allen – @dreamingspiresFebruary 16th, 2012

    This is important: Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/tqpsjUlb via @symplur

  37. @andrewspong
    Andrew Spong – @andrewspongFebruary 17th, 2012

    This is important: Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/tqpsjUlb via @symplur

  38. @jbbc
    Marie Ennis-O’Connor – @jbbcFebruary 17th, 2012

    This is important: Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/tqpsjUlb via @symplur

  39. @bringitonhomee
    Chrissy Beach – @bringitonhomeeFebruary 17th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/gni2Wj5m via @symplur

  40. @jamesmusick
    James Musick – @jamesmusickFebruary 17th, 2012

    The Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/JoFH7Nkm via @symplur

  41. @pieroleo
    Pietro Leo – @pieroleoFebruary 17th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/OyQ3NGv8 #hcsmaz #hcsm #socbiz

  42. @willcollie
    WillC – @willcollieFebruary 18th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/w0OIi1yB

  43. @julieleask
    Julie Leask – @julieleaskFebruary 18th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/w0OIi1yB

  44. @jbbc
    Marie Ennis-O’Connor – @jbbcFebruary 18th, 2012

    Disease #Hashtags on #Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/Vph7JpF5 #hcsm #hcsmeu

  45. @irl4livestrong
    Vanessa Reid – @irl4livestrongFebruary 18th, 2012

    RT @JBBC Great article! Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/XqYietlH via @symplur

  46. @reidv
    Vanessa Reid – @reidvFebruary 18th, 2012

    RT @JBBC Great article! Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/XqYietlH via @symplur

  47. @dikerr
    diana kerr – @dikerrFebruary 20th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/w0OIi1yB

  48. @david_busbridge
    David Busbridge – @david_busbridgeFebruary 20th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/63qjX8bZ via @symplur

  49. @hjluks
    Howard Luks – @hjluksApril 4th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/h0U9n3EH via @symplur #HITsm

  50. @colekpharm
    CarleneO – @colekpharmApril 4th, 2012

    Great List MT @hjluks: Disease Hashtags on Tw: Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/N9BpwHLP via @symplur #HITsm #hcsm #healthIT

  51. @drfalsetti
    Sam Falsetti – @drfalsettiApril 4th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/h0U9n3EH via @symplur #HITsm

  52. @verrandeborah
    Deborah Verran – @verrandeborahApril 4th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/S9MOPKFp via @symplur

  53. @jamiesonetc
    Jamieson Sheffield – @jamiesonetcApril 4th, 2012

    Disease #hashtags on Twitter http://t.co/sxHyXhRv @symplur Democratizing #health

  54. @pgangolly
    Priya Gangolly – @pgangollyMay 9th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/yMHkivcP via @symplur

  55. @calliopeco
    PenelopeM – @calliopecoJuly 9th, 2012

    A Curated list of Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/QWvYEy5I via @mayoclinic @rittweger

  56. @tmlfox
    Thomas M. Lee – @tmlfoxAugust 18th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project: Phase 2 http://t.co/qywX782K #hcsm #hcsmeu #healthcare #disease

  57. @mmayerp
    Miguel Angel Mayer – @mmayerpSeptember 19th, 2012

    Disease Hashtags on Twitter … the Healthcare Hashtag Project http://t.co/JXQxhew5

  58. @delacure
    Mark D DeLacure, MD – @delacureSeptember 20th, 2012

    http://t.co/n0Hi6ovk

    see @delacure http://t.co/08k1cN1e