Radiologists, Listen Up! Twitter is for you!

UC San Francisco Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging is not the only medical institution using social media as a tool to get our messages out to the world. A new column in the July 17, 2014 online issue of the American Journal of Neuroradiology has focused on the increasing trend of Twitter use among radiologists across the board.

Twitter is a microblogging platform that logs nearly 340 million tweets, or posts containing 140 or fewer characters, each day. Twitter and other social platforms, like Facebook and Google +, are heavily used by corporations, politicians, the news media, and an ever-increasing population of medical professionals and organizations. All of these individuals and organizations recognize the potential power of these new platforms for communication and networking.

However, the value of social media for communication and networking in the healthcare industry has yet to be fully utilized. Through the use of hashtags, people from around the world can discover conversations and content on topics of interest. Users have the ability to join conversations and communicate with medical professionals and organizations that they might not have otherwise had access to. At conferences, Twitter has become a popular means of communication between individuals both in attendance and from afar. The platform is regularly used to make conference announcements and as a tool for discussing particular sessions. For those unable to attend, Twitter gives the opportunity for people around the globe to join the conversation and be a part of the “think tank.”

At this year’s annual meeting for the American Society of Neuroradiology, over 400 tweets using the registered hashtag #ASNR14 were logged from May 15 to May 23, 2014. These tweets came from 51 users, including radiologists in attendance, radiologists not in attendance, non-radiologists and institutional accounts.

At UCSF, we use our Twitter account for a number of different reasons, including communications related to annual meetings and presentations at UCSF, sharing content from the UCSF Imaging blog, offering congratulatory messages, sharing photos, highlighting specific events and courses, and more!

For more information on the benefits of using social media in radiology, click here to read the full article from the AJNR!