Purpose of Review
With real-time communication crucial to both healthcare professionals (HCPs) and the public in infectious diseases (ID), social media networking sites has become even more important. Twitter is the most popular form of social media used for ID communication. We will review the power of Twitter in ID.
Twitter allows for real-time sharing of educational resources at ID scientific conferences, enabling individuals that are not able to attend conferences to follow conferences anytime anywhere and stimulate discussion around topics of interest with experts from across the globe. Further, Twitter chats are a valuable tool for stewardship, with different accounts periodically hosting chats on various stewardship topics. Several studies have also demonstrated the strong relationship between dissemination and citation impact of publications with the help of Twitter. There is great value in engaging with non-ID people on Twitter via dissemination of ID knowledge to other disciplines. Lastly, when used appropriately, Twitter is a useful site for distributing vaccine information, whether informally (by advocates and physicians) or formally (by government entities) and allows one to keep up with ongoing ID outbreaks in real time.
Twitter has transformed how we communicate in healthcare. Particularly in ID, where bacteria and viruses can enter/exit borders anytime anywhere, global real-time information about outbreaks and antimicrobial resistance for clinicians and the public is critical. Twitter has no hierarchy or barriers, is a conduit for global collaboration, and is a way for HCPs and the public to “social”ize on healthcare topics, if used appropriately.
Current Infectious Disease Reports (2020) 22(6):14
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