Author: Stefan Marcus

Meningitis B vaccination in the UK and the power of social media

Meningitis B and Bexsero Since September, an innovative vaccine for the bacterial infection Meningitis B (Bexsero, a GSK product) has been available for free on the NHS under a programme for infants, which administers the vaccine at 2 and 4 months, with a booster at 12 months. It could also be paid for at private clinics when looking to immunise older children, but earlier this year GSK has asked these clinics to temporarily stop new vaccination courses due to supply shortages, although they state that the childhood NHS schedule will remain unaffected. This unexpected surge of demand for Bexsero...

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How clinical study authors use social media to discuss their research

One of major topics of conversation among healthcare professionals both offline and online is discussion about new developments in their field and their impact on clinical practice. The authors of important clinical studies, who are likely the experts on the subject, may want to be part of the dialogue. Social channels allow for these authors to be more active in the dissemination and audience understanding of their own research, from the initial stages (even recruiting patients through Twitter) to participating in interviews weeks after publication. Authors can make a long-term impact when presenting at a congress meeting Congress meetings...

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Schizophrenia: Online perspectives from European mental health professionals

When you think of someone with schizophrenia, what do you imagine? Rather than relying on personal experiences or clinical knowledge, many of us may conjure up an image based on impressions gleaned from a number of portrayals in mass media. Popular films like Shutter Island and A Beautiful Mind are both vivid depictions of people with schizophrenia, yet they show the condition in very different ways. It’s a fascinating, and sometimes scary subject, and like other mental illnesses there can be a lot of misunderstanding within the general public. Social media creates a powerful avenue for raising awareness, and...

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Building engaging healthcare professional communities online: 5 lessons from WeCommunities

Recent studies show that nurses are among the most active medical professions online, and they are frequently looking for new ways to be able to connect with their peers through social media. After Teresa Chinn (@agency Nurse) started a virtual community of nurses in public social media called ‘WeNurses’ to facilitate better communication between nurses, it began to quickly gain popularity through its Twitter account and regular virtual chats. Now named WeCommunities, the model has expanded beyond nurses, and has become a thriving community for healthcare professionals and other individuals passionate about health. While there are a large number...

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Online Study Reveals Diabetes Specialists’ Concern Over NICE Draft Guidance on Drugs

At the beginning of this year, NICE released four pieces of draft guidance for diabetes, including documents on Type 1 and 2, as well as management in children and during pregnancy. With publication anticipated for August 2015, consultation with stakeholders is open until March 4. An online study of reactions by healthcare professionals to the draft guidance indicates that some have already formed strong opinions on what looks to be the most controversial of the new guidelines: Type 2 diabetes in adults. The guidelines update several aspects of diabetes management based on the latest clinical research, and include recommendations...

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