Introducing the Cardiology Hashtag Ontology

The aim of the Cardiology Hashtag Ontology is to coalesce and codify common themes used in the cardiovascular social media community. With such a burgeoning social media presence in cardiovascular diseases, yet with such diverse terms and phrases for similar entities, this project should focus the energy and improve communication throughout the cardiovascular community. Here, we provide an initial list of hashtags incorporating some of the most common items encountered by patients and providers, in hopes that this dynamic collection will continue to evolve and improve with the ever-expanding field of cardiology and cardiovascular surgery.

Even for a discipline which encompasses a broad swath from granular genomics to classical physical examination skills to life saving and heroic surgical measures, many in the cardiovascular space feel Twitter is too overwhelming and of little value to their daily lives. Although cardiovascular disease only occupies a small fraction of the over 300 million viewers and billions of tweets generated daily on the Twitterverse, the potential value #CVD providers can garner, and large impact they can have on public health, is beyond immense. However, just like anything we provide or prescribe to our patients, social media must be palatable and easily navigated in order to have broad uptake and value for its users. One means by which this can be accomplished is by codifying a set of terms common in the cardiovascular world, and much like our colleagues in oncology, radiation oncology, and recently urology, providing a cardiovascular ontology around which patients and providers can easily identify specific entities within the Cardioverse.

The clear success of other medical ontologies – oncology, urology, radiology, pathology, radiation oncology – supports the notion that this idea can be successful. Furthermore, creating a basic set of hashtags upon which the field can build is feasible across multiple disciplines. The fact that atrial fibrillation – an entity that affects a plurality of our patients over 70 years of age – does not have a hashtag is troubling, and has now been remedied by this project.

Thus, we have provided a reasonably comprehensive and systematic set of cardiology hashtags based on topics and coverage from the American Heart Association (@American_Heart), American College of Cardiology (@ACCinTouch), and European Society of Cardiology (@escardio). We have built this list so that cardiologists and even patients new to social media and/or certain cardiovascular topics should easily be able to search for trending and insightful information and thought leaders related to such topics as #Afib, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (#cvHCM), #Statin, and Aortic Stenosis (#vhdAS), among just a few examples. Furthermore, to instill a sense of fluidity to the list, to account for new and emerging topics, we have also included such trending topics over the past year such as #TAVR, #PCSK9, and cardio-oncology (#CardioOnc) with the intent to spur on new and exciting hashtags which keep pace with the evolving cardiovascular world. Our hope is that this provides a comfortable basis for those with an interest in cardiovascular disease to easily join and subsequently navigate the Twitterverse. Moreover, this will provide commonality for those across the globe to share thoughts and ideas regarding cardiology topics both novel and dogmatic.

We look forward to the introduction and utilization of this list, and furthermore invite others to continue to cultivate its presence to benefit all who seek the betterment of the field of cardiovascular diseases.

Se the full list at the Cardiology Hashtag Ontology page.

R. Jay Widmer, MD/PhD

R. Jay Widmer, MD/PhD - @drargyle

Dr. R. Jay Widmer is a cardiology fellow in Rochester, Minnesota at Mayo Clinic. He received his medical degree and PhD from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.

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