Making Progress in Social Media and Medicine: Engagement at ACC.16

Campbell headshotThis post was authored by Kevin R. Campbell, MD, FACC, assistant professor of medicine, University of North Carolina, division of cardiology, and a presenter at ACC.16.

I was amazed by the uptick in Social media engagement at ACC.16. While 75 percent of all fortune 500 companies are represented and active on twitter, doctors have been quite slow to enter into the social media space. Many of us have who have pioneered social media in medicine have often felt like Dr. Sisyphus as we push the “Social Boulder” up the hill in order to show our colleagues the value of digital engagement. However, it appears that finally the tide is turning.

From the very outset of the meeting the hashtag #ACC16 began trending. Just in time for the annual sessions, the ACC recently created and published a Cardiology Hashtag Ontology reference guide in order to bring together the broad topics within cardiovascular disease so that common subjects of discussion can be easily identified, searched and catalogued. Continue reading

#Cardiology Ontology: Using Hashtags to Improve #CVD Care

This post was authored by R. Jay Widmer, MD, PhD (@DrArgyle);  Carolyn M. Larsen, MD (@carolynmarieMN); Robert A. Harrington, MD, FACC (@HeartBobH); T. Jared Bunch, MD (@TJaredBunch); John P. Erwin, III, MD, FACC (@HeartOTXHeartMD); John M. Mandrola, MD, FACC (@drjohnm); and Farris K. Timimi, MD, FACC (@FarrisTimimi), members of the Cardiovascular Symplur Ontology Project.

Following in the footsteps of several other specialties, cardiology now has a hashtag ontology page dedicated to facilitating social media use for providers and the wider health care community. The aim of the cardiology ontology page is to assemble and disseminate hashtags pertinent to cardiovascular diseases. This enables health care professionals, patients and family members to organize discussions surrounding cardiovascular medicine in an effort to keep the interest of the patient foremost.

We often hear, “Oh it’s so vast and overwhelming, there’s no way I could be on Twitter” when approaching colleagues about a recent fruitful encounter on one of the largest social media platforms in the world. Although cardiology only occupies a small fraction of the over 300 million viewers and billions of tweets generated daily on Twitter, the potential value cardiovascular disease providers can garner and large impact they can have on public health is beyond immense. However, just like any medication or therapy we suggest or prescribe to our patients, social media must be palatable and easily navigated in order to have broad uptake. One means by which this can be accomplished is by codifying a set of terms common in cardiology, 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 world of cardiology. Continue reading

‘I am CardioSmart’ Contest Recognizes Inspiring Heart Health Stories

This post was authored by Marth Gulati, MD, MS, FACC, editor-in-chief of

This month, CardioSmart announced the winners of its annual “I am CardioSmart” contest, which has been held every year since 2013 to recognize people living well with heart disease. People from across the country submitted their stories about how they have taken control of their health after a heart disease diagnosis.

CardioSmart asked their Facebook fans to “like” the story that inspired them the most, and Christian Jacobs from West Jefferson, OH, was selected as the overall winner. He won a trip to Chicago during ACC.16 where he will have the opportunity to share his story with ACC.16 attendees and be recognized at the CardioSmart Patient Engagement Reception. Continue reading

ACC.16: Disrupt Your Thinking and Ignite Innovation

POPPAS_BOT_2010This post was authored by Athena Poppas, MD, FACC, chair of ACC’s Annual Scientific Session.

ACC’s 65th Annual Scientific Session will feature sessions and lectures designed to disrupt your thinking and ignite innovation. Members of the cardiovascular care team from around the world will join together at this intersection of science and change in Chicago, IL from April 2 – 4.

The program committee – comprised of some of the best and brightest in their respective fields – is committed to providing the most valuable and up-to-date content at ACC.16. Once again, the meeting will feature “more learning, less lecturing” in order to give attendees as much practical training, education and networking as possible in our dynamic three-day format. We know you’ll want to get back to your patients and everyday lives quickly – refreshed and ready to apply what you’ve learned in Chicago. Continue reading

The Time is Ripe For a New Dialogue on Capitol Hill

As part of ACC’s 2015 Legislative Conference, more than 400 cardiovascular professionals were on Capitol Hill yesterday meeting with their congressional leaders. For the first time in many years, cardiology had a fresh message to take to Washington. Now that the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) is history, it’s time to focus on other issues that threaten the tremendous progress that has been made over the last several decades to reduce cardiovascular disease. Continue reading

Convergence of Science and Technology Explored in Day One of Future Track

This post was authored by Sanjeev Bhavnani, MD, chair of the ACC.15 session on Mobile Technology in Health Care.

sanjeev_bhavnoniOn day one of the Future of Cardiovascular MedicineTrack at #ACC15, we experienced innovation in several forms – most of all among our participants who were actively tweeting, texting and engaging to convey their thoughts and comments through social media and virtual connections. Cardiology has always been strongest at its roots and if this is an example of the things to come, we are well positioned for the future. Continue reading

The Power of Social Media in Medicine

This post was authored by John Gordon Harold, MD, MACC, immediate past president of the ACC.

A study released today during AHA 2014 provided an interesting perspective on the ability of social media to effectively distribute findings of published articles. The trial, “Intention-to-Tweet,” randomized 243 articles published in Circulation to either receive social media or not and found no difference in median 30-day page views (409 [social media] versus 392 [control], P=0.80). There were also no differences observed by article type (clinical, population, or basic science; P=0.19), whether an article had an editorial (P=0.87), or whether the corresponding author was from the U.S. (P=0.73). Continue reading

The Intersection of Digital Health and Patient Engagement

This blog post was authored by Shalom Jacobovitz, chief executive officer of the ACC.

Technology has completely transformed the way people live their lives – from how they consume information to how they communicate with each other. Now, more than ever, marrying technology with medicine has the potential to reshape how we engage with patients.

It has been reported that the average person checks his or her phone more than 150 times per day which equates to about two hours of mobile screen time per day. And it’s not just patients that are using mobile technology, an estimated 90 percent of health care providers use smartphones and almost as many use tablets. Furthermore, 70-75 percent of people seek health care information online. Figuring out a way to provide patients with credible health information that can be accessed on the go is the future of our industry. Continue reading

From #Cathlab to #Kittens: Social Media and the Sports Cardiologist

This post was authored by James Beckerman, MD, FACC, team cardiologist for the Portland Timbers Major League Soccer team. He tweets at @jamesbeckerman and he actually can’t stand kittens.

Sports cardiology and social media have a lot more in common than you might think. First and foremost, experience begets expertise. There are no certifications, board exams, or fellowship training requirements to develop specific skills in caring for athletes, understanding the subtleties of the trained heart, or cutting through the media hype on the relationship between exercise and heart disease. The same goes for social media… except you’ll find a lot more self-proclaimed experts. Just ask them. Continue reading

All “A-Twitter” at ACC.13

As cardiovascular science marches forward, certainly demonstrated at the ACC.13 Annual Scientific Session, so too does the way technology is used to expand communication. Innovation has changed the way we practice medicine—witness TAVR, the use of LVAD and the emergence of new pharmacology for the betterment of our patient care—and similarly, innovation has forever altered the way we locate and  consume the latest science and education reports as well as how we share education information with patients. This weekend, smart phones and tablets dominated the hallways of the convention center at ACC.13. While many attendees were using their devices to browse sessions and plan their schedules using the ACC.13 eMeeting Planner app, thousands of others, myself included, were using them to soak up as much knowledge as possible. With hundreds of events taking place in three separate buildings, it was impossible to be at every session that sounded interesting. The ACC’s meeting Twitter account (@ACC_2013) was my go-to source for everything that was happening in San Francisco, allowing me to follow thought leaders from across the spectrum of cardiology, each reporting, in real time, updates from a variety of venues including late breaking clinical trials, esoteric sessions on orphan diseases and impromptu FIT meetings with giants of cardiology. I wasn’t alone. The hashtag #ACC13 has been used more than 4,500 times by nearly 1,200 people and still counting. That makes ACC.13 the most “connected” meeting to date with more than 5 million impressions worldwide. 

On Saturday, I shared my personal experience with the use of social media in medicine during a presentation in ACC Central. In my hectic daily life, I take advantage of Twitter to get the most up-to-date information —from clinical to health policy to world news—delivered to the palm of my hand, enabling me to be the most informed physician I can be. It’s also helped me discover and innovate, adapting other cutting-edge tools and resources to my benefit.  This in turn helps me better serve my patients and run a more successful practice. 

Just because ACC.13 is a wrap, doesn’t mean social media will fade into the background. One out of every seven minutes spent online is on Facebook and there are 340 million tweets sent each day. Surprisingly, while only 19 percent of cardiologists believe social media channels are very or extremely effective for sharing insight on medical news, research, developments and treatments, there has been a rapid uptick in engagement across ACC’s suite of social media channels. At this stage in the game, it’s clear that social media is here to stay and I encourage all of you to get on board to become more informed, well-rounded clinicians.

 If you would like to experiment with knowledge acquisition via social media, it’s safe and easy. Simply log on to twitter, make an account and look me up at @DavidMayMD. Click the “follow” button and all my tweets will be delivered to your account. I tweet articles and commentary on a wide array of topics, essentially functioning as a sort of organic Google search engine. You will immediately sense the potential of thousands of us, linked together in cyberspace, each day searching our own interests, finding nuggets of value, then communicating about those interests in real time. And besides, your kids will think you’re cool.