The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down Barriers in Healthcare Social Media

In the two previous posts in this series of Twitter visualizations, we’ve looked at the growth of patient communities and the dynamics and centrality of one of them. This time we will take a deeper look at the people who make up these communities.

From looking at the visualization below (PDF version), one can think of them as virtual communities set in space like constellations of stars but with people orbiting one another. The laws of physics still apply, but gravity has become a function of conversations. Conversation is gravity. Boundaries are broken down. Traditional barriers like location, profession, demographics, physical abilities and conditions will not stop you from joining in. The world is flattening. And because many traditional hierarchies and perceptions are eroding as a consequence of healthcare social media, new types of communication and communities are emerging. Twitter is the new melting pot of ideas, people, and disruptive innovation.

The Flattening of Healthcare

Is it this melting pot of people, experience and knowledge that makes Twitter so attractive for patients that they are willing to trade some privacy in return for the benefit of joining in? In our series we’ve categorized these communities as patient-centric, but as many participants can testify, the members are made up of more than just patients. Our focus this time is the #BCSM community, Breast Cancer Social Media. Below we have pointed out some of the patients represented (not all are highlighted).

Patients in Healthcare Social Media

In our first post we created a visual from about 100 million tweets over almost 2 years, while in our second post the time span was one month. This time we are looking at a snap shot of only 1 hour. But this is not just any random hour, it’s the hour of the weekly scheduled #BCSM tweet chat. These tweet chats are the epitome of a melting pot – stakeholders from many different professions exchange and discuss ideas relating to a few pre-defined topics compressed into an hour time frame. The energy can be explosive. This visual is a network centrality analysis. The larger the node, the more central or influential a member is. Links between nodes signify a direct interaction or conversation between the two. In the following visual we point out some of the healthcare providers represented (not all are highlighted).

Providers in Healthcare Social Media

Twitter provides a convenient and powerful place for patients to meet other patients where they can both receive information but also give information from their own experience – it’s that human need created in us to share knowledge which has powered much of social media. However, from the visual above where we’ve highlighted nurses, physicians, a pharmacist, etc., we can see a larger view of the attraction Twitter has for patients.

The Birthplace of Disruptive Healthcare Ideas

Many patients on social media are very engaged, many are living with chronic conditions, cancers, or rare diseases, and many have more than just knowledge to impart to others – they want to change the way healthcare is delivered. Change can only come about in a public space, you’ve got to step out from the echo chambers of private forums. The open and public nature of Twitter provides a platform where people can find a cross section of all the relevant stakeholders in healthcare. A birthplace for disruptive ideas. The perfect place for engaged patients, engaged providers, and the supporting third parties.

Audun Utengen

Audun Utengen - @audvin

Sharing research from the Healthcare Social Graph®. Co-founder, CEO of @symplur. Advisor to @MayoClinicSMN. ❤️ #Parkinsons, #Schizophrenia, #PancreaticCancer

71 Responses to “The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down Barriers in Healthcare Social Media”

  1. Audun Utengen

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    Reply
  2. Sarah Fraser

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    Reply
  3. Symplur

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  4. LeAnna J. Carey

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  5. Bill Russell

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  6. Bronnie Thompson

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  7. Lisa D OT

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  8. emeraldschell

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  9. Howard Luks MD

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    Reply
  10. Mike Thompson, MDPhD

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    Reply
  11. Ken

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    Reply
  12. Kane & Finkel

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  13. Kane & Finkel

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  14. Michael Reoch

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  15. Audun Utengen

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    Reply
  16. #BCSM Chat

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  17. Alicia C. Staley

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  18. Jody Schoger

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    Reply
  19. Audun Utengen

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    Reply
  20. Thomas M. Lee

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  21. HealthCare Solutions

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  22. Robert West PhD

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  23. JOHN NOSTA

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  24. JOHN NOSTA

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  25. Blipcare

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  26. Lilly Clinical OI

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    Reply
  27. Kathleen Poulos

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  28. Mike Cadogan

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  29. Luke

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  30. Lynton Manuel

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  31. Angel Azpeitia

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  32. Domhnall Brannigan

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  33. Therese Stutz

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  34. Angel Azpeitia

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  35. Albert Arnó

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  36. Gerdi Van Kerckhoven

    The open,public nature of Twitter provides a place where people can find a cross section of stakeholders in #healthcare http://t.co/emplZg4L

    Reply
  37. Intersurgical

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  38. Ali R. Jalali

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  39. Brian S. McGowan PhD

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    Reply
  40. Brian S. McGowan

    Establishing a science to study new social graphs & impact on healthcare: http://t.co/zTAJvHq8 #socialQI #hcsmRnD

    Reply
  41. Jonathan Bloor

    The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down Barriers w/ #HCSM http://t.co/Sn3TrBZq Great study of #BCSM to demonstrate power of #socialQI

    Reply
  42. PhysicianDigital

    Establishing a science to study new social graphs & impact on healthcare: http://t.co/zTAJvHq8 #socialQI #hcsmRnD

    Reply
  43. ICAN

    Breast cancer social media, on the trial to bring patient and provider together http://t.co/nrkZUnQ8 #bcsm

    Reply
  44. cancerlikeme

    Breast cancer social media, on the trial to bring patient and provider together http://t.co/nrkZUnQ8 #bcsm

    Reply
  45. Len Starnes

    RT @BrianSMcGowan: The Flattening of Healthcare #HCSM http://t.co/n9LjiJfV Great study of #BCSM to demonstrate power of #socialQI #hcsmeu

    Reply
  46. Mike Thompson, MDPhD

    Breast cancer social media, on the trial to bring patient and provider together http://t.co/nrkZUnQ8 #bcsm

    Reply
  47. Cathi Mon

    The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down of Barriers in Healthcare Social Media – Twitter Visualized http://t.co/lJ8kKnVV via @symplur

    Reply
  48. Linda Lia

    The Flattening of #Healthcare: Breaking Down Barriers in Healthcare #SocialMedia via @Symplur http://t.co/18tzcpNz

    Reply
  49. PracticeFusion CCN

    The Flattening of #Healthcare: Breaking Down Barriers in Healthcare #SocialMedia via @Symplur http://t.co/CrqeQJkN

    Reply
  50. Jody Schoger

    MT @BrianSMcGowan: The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down Barriers w/ #HCSM http://t.co/2e75spHx …power of #socialQI #bcsm

    Reply
  51. April Jolly

    The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down Barriers in Healthcare Social Media http://t.co/s8CKNpNz

    Reply
  52. Kristi Holmes

    Great piece on how SM can impact patient care: Breaking Down Barriers in Healthcare Social Media http://t.co/fmq2DVb7 #hcmktg

    Reply
  53. Steph Hollingsworth

    The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down Barriers in Healthcare Social Media http://t.co/upysd0AK via @symplur

    Reply
  54. Dale Griffen

    The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down Barriers in Healthcare Social Media http://t.co/upysd0AK via @symplur

    Reply
  55. Jennifer A. Martin

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    Reply
  56. Alliance Health

    Great visualizations of the people who make up patient communities via @symplur http://t.co/WeCf1cCw #epatient

    Reply
  57. Steven Tucker, MD

    Love this! The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down of Barriers in #hcsm @jodyms @stales http://t.co/Z8IwYjrd via @undrip

    Reply
  58. Dr. Cary Presant

    Love this! The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down of Barriers in #hcsm @jodyms @stales http://t.co/Z8IwYjrd via @undrip

    Reply
  59. Lionel REICHARDT

    The Flattening of Healthcare: Breaking Down of Barriers in Healthcare Social Media – Twitter Visualized http://t.co/oQ4R0jpd via @symplur

    Reply
  60. Ann Becker-Schutte

    Thank you for sharing this amazing visual of the changes in our healthcare system.

    Reply
  61. Colleen Young

    I’d like to underline that merely having public conversations on social media does not ensure inclusivity. It requires strategic stewardship from key enablers. The founders of #bcsm @jodyms @stales @DrAttai have made a concerted effort to be all inclusive, inviting members from all sectors of the healthcare spectrum. Kudos and job well done!

    Reply
  62. Judy

    Very interesting graphics. What did you use to identify the providers & patients?

    Reply
    • Audun Utengen

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you. To identify providers and patients I used “human curation” :) Manual research.

      However, we have a very powerful tool at Symplur to identify U.S. physicians since we have linked thousands of their Twitter Profiles to their NPI number (National Provider Identification) so that we can get a much more trustworthy and richer dataset. Great for segmentation of physician behavior comparing specialties, locations etc.

      Audun

      Reply
  63. Lorri Zipperer

    #DXerror chat today at 2pm ET to discuss role of social media as an opportunity to engage pateints and others in improving diagnostic error. Hope you folks can join!

    Reply
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