Posted in #HCSM

The Other Side of the Firewall: Social Media Developments in Other Specialities #ESCP2016

Buongiorno from Milan this week where I’ve been attending #ESCP2016, the European Society of Coloproctology Annual Meeting. On Wednesday I was part of a social media panel – the only non-clinician (and female!) speaker on the panel.


The title of my talk The Other Side of the Firewall: Social Media Developments in Other Specialities concerned how patients are using new digital technologies to tear down the medical firewall to access health information.

We’ve now entered a new era of networked knowledge, meaning knowledge in the form of ideas, information, wisdom – has broken out of its traditional confines and now exists in a hyper-connected online state.

And this is also true of medicine.

In the new medical paradigm, Web technologies and applications are radically transforming established notions of what it means to be a patient. We’ve entered an era of self-empowerment and self-advocacy amongst patients facilitated by digital technology.

I spoke about the growing recognition of a particular subset of patients who have become specialists in managing their own health and are sharing their expertise not just with other patients, but with physicians and researchers too. Finally I shared some of my favourite examples of this from the ePatient world.

I really enjoying listening to the other panellists who spoke about how they engage online in surgical social media, and I’ve been impressed with their work in actively encouraging surgeons to embrace the digital era. And finally, it’s always fun to see how the numbers stack up thanks to Symplur’s analytics.



Catch up with a Storify curation of tweets from the conference.


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