Tweets and Healthcare Social Media Nigeria (#hcsmNG)
Healthcare tweets and Big data analytics.
As you may know, everything on the internet accumulates data, such as Twitter.
What is Twitter? It is an online micro-blogging platform that enables users to send and read short 140-character posts called “tweets” and is categorized within the social web landscape.
Twitter is the world’s largest instant global conversation platform, it had become an effective tool for Nigerian healthcare stakeholders to interact, communicate and educate others in real-time. In this case, we use this platform to gather data in order to get insights and make reports on healthcare systems.
Twitter also generates a considerable portion of big data which help us to identify patterns of behavior useful in the future towards design research for strengthening and development of Nigeria’s already weak health system or other areas like disease surveillance or even institute participatory medicine for better patient health.
Increasing large volume of data generated online for healthcare will be much more sensitive to noise or inaccuracies. Therefore, it is important to consider methods of standardization to help stakeholders including ePatients (empowered patients) create more meaningful data. In Nigeria, these meaningful data become practicable as the country gradually adopts mHealth, eHealth and wearable technologies.
Below are three measures I consider when tweeting about health care:
1. Speak to your audience: Twitter is used for healthcare for two major reasons: (1) is to disseminate public education, and (2) to promote networking such as among ePatients. Educational material can take the form of a blog, article, video, photo, Twitter chat and illustrations; it can also be a simple line of text. When sharing a tweet to your followers make sure you leverage that opportunity to encourage your audience to engage by using those characters strategically. Share your thoughts about the article you are tweeting out rather than leaving your characters blank or using hashtags only.
2. Know your healthcare hashtags — Symplur is one of the world’s leading platforms who have a free index of hashtags specific to healthcare. According to Wikipedia, a hashtag is a kind of metadata tag marked by the prefix #, sometimes known as a “hash” symbol. This form of tagging is used on microblogging and social networking services such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and Instagram. When hashtags are used in Tweets they connect into a thread. Ideally using a common thread is advisable so the information you are sharing connects to the most popular communities. Hashtags are used in front of keywords like #healthNG, in Twitter chats like geo-communities #hcsm and #hcsmNG as well as to share conference conversations like #CDCAfrica2018.
3. Share credible health content only: Ask yourself if it’s reputable before you share it. Once you send out a tweet you create a digital footprint which cannot be deleted.