Monday, November 14, 2011

Tweetup at the 2011 ACR Scientific Meeting in Chicago

The twitterati met at the 2011 ACR Meeting. We had wonderful discussions, especially about the use of social media, about research, about participatory medicine, and more. It was a good idea to fix our tweetup at the beginning of the meeting as some of us couldn’t stay the whole time or were too busy afterwards. Lots of sessions to attend. With thousands of people attendimng the meeting fixing the location has been important, too.
We agreed earlier this year to use #ACR2011 as a hashtag. This hashtag made possible to get all the people together, North and South America, Europe, Asia, physicians and other researchers, and last not least the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation’s (RPF); the participants: @SocialMediaShan, @brianreid, @ACRheum, @carvicab, @RheumEpi, @rawarrior, @doctorakerkar, @RonanTKavanagh, @dsymons, @psufka, @alexbangs, @rheumatologe. So a multitude of ideas was assured.
Twitter or other social media build up connections between people, and it needs time to establish a give and take. Some physicians and health providers think that Twitter will immediately multiply their information. They are disappointed if they don’t see it happen.
Twitter is quicker than Google if it comes to breaking news. And some information will definitely find its way into rheumatological print media only with a long delay.
This tweetup helped to get to know the people behind the avatars. I hope that the interchange of ideas will increase like a tree grows out of a seed. If we want to change the current shortcomings in rheumatology, we have to look at them from different perspectives, we have to see where patients, physicians, researchers, industry, society, insurance/funding, etc. see the problems.

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