Twitter's health potential

THE far-reaching and rapid spread of information on Twitter has the potential to save lives through education according to a recent study at the University of Sydney.

The study, ‘Tweeting Our Way to Cardiovascular Health’, was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

It examined the activity of 15 health-focused Twitter accounts and showed its potential to enhance the awareness of health-related issues and education for the management of cardiovascular disease.

In recent years a growing number of health professionals have been turning to Twitter to share health information.

Twitter is a real-time network for information which has become popular with over 500 million users around the world. While ‘Tweets’ are limited to 140 characters, they are able to inlcude links to more detailed information and education on websites.

The medium can encompass health professionals, organisations, government bodies, journals and patients.

Twitter connects people and organisations interactively and opens up unique possibilities for the dissemination of health information.

For more information: J Am Coll Cardiol. 2013;61(15)167-1658.

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