Social Media and Opportunities for Cardiovascular Medicine

The social media platform Twitter allows users to post content up to a limit of 280 characters, the engagement with these posts can be measured by the number of impressions. With all this content available, hashtags (#) are used to group certain posts relating to a certain topic, a popular cardiology hashtag being #CardioTwitter.

In particular, the free open-access medical education (#FOAMed) hashtags have gained significant popularity. By using these hashtags, clinicians of all levels can get involved in discussions and advise from around the world on echocardiograms and angiograms etc. This has also impacted the younger generation of cardiologists as the fellows-in-training (FITs) have also been able to use SoMe to generate a hashtag, #FITSurvivalGuide, which provided access to basic clinical topics. For academic cardiologists, SoMe has also become more prominent in their field. It is now not uncommon for academics to demonstrate the impact of their work digitally.

The opportunity for SoMe to generate real-world connections has brought together different groups in the field from around the world. For example, the Women in Cardiology movement has gained a large following on both Twitter and Facebook. These SoMe platforms have allowed this group to discuss issues of importance affecting the female cardiologist population, including issues with the gender pay gap and work-life balance challenges. Connections have also been made for grassroots cardiology advocacy groups, for example, #GoRedForWomen and #SouthAsianCVD to name a few.