Twitter to save… lives??
Not too long ago, saying the words “social” and “media” together, wouldn’t have turned a head. Now it seems that almost every day some new trend or idea rises through the expansive online world we call social media. Most of these trends rise and fall. Some are meaningless; some are wild and others just plain boring. Sometimes though, they open our eyes and bring something new and innovative into this world.
So how do some of our current social media behemoths stay on the cutting edge for so long? What is the secret? Well, there probably isn’t any definitive answer, but in a lot of cases it has to do with their communities, these communities take the tools and run with it and create something completely new and evolving.
Twitter is the most recent example of how social media platforms can be used in ways they were never meant to. Listen to this… Twitter could possibly become an integral part in saving a life! That’s social media for you these days, always changing and always making headlines.
The basic premise is that Twitter could become a new avenue of life saving by providing vital information about health-related matters to its growing number of users. Researchers who studied tweets on cardiac arrest suggest that Twitter represents a unique and promising aspect to respond to queries from the public and spread information about this leading killer. Not only that, but Twitter can be used to spread new information in the areas of CPR training and AED use.
“Twitter is an incredible resource for connecting and mobilising people, and it offers users a way to receive instant feedback and information. The potential applications of social media for cardiac arrest are vast. Twitter might even be harnessed to save lives in an emergency, by allowing bystanders who respond to cardiac arrests in public places to seek information about the location of the closest AED (automated external defibrillator),” said Raina Merchant who led the study.
During one study of 15,324 tweets it was discovered that users frequently share information regarding cardiac arrest specific information.
- 14 percent talked about cardiac arrest events and shared personal experiences as well as treatment information
- 29 percent referenced CPR and AED use and involved personal stories
- 6 percent indicated “information sharing” which researchers indicated as observations about someone receiving CPR or commentary on new CPR guidelines
- 60 percent of tweets related to health education and potential courses to take
Social networks are in a leading position to circulate information to the general public. Twitter can help providers, public health officials and health educators learn what information the public needs on a variety of health topics.
It will be very interesting to see where this could possibly lead Twitter and the health community. In the end we all benefit from the spread of up-to-date health information, that’s something Global Medical Services will always stand behind.