Despite national debate on whether doctors should use social media, some physicians are forging ahead, using platforms such as Twitter to interact with colleagues, expand their knowledge and even connect with patients. Dr. Nick Bennett, the infectious disease and immunology medical director for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, said he benefits professionally from Twitter. He created his account, @peds_id_doc, a few years ago to see what Twitter was about, and he’s remained a loyal user. Bennett started by following health-related accounts and live tweeting from conferences. He also joined Twitter chats – conversations that use hash tags to link tweets.
When Ashley Yalof finishes a run, either on a treadmill or outdoors, she gets much more than merely a feeling of accomplishment: she knows her average pace, can compare her performance to previous runs and even gets congratulated by a famous athlete. Yalof, 27, is one of a growing number of millennials using health-related mobile apps. While smartphone app use has risen in general, the use of health-related apps is particularly prominent among millennials, or those born between 1980 and the early 2000s, research shows. Among smartphone users of all ages, 19 percent have apps on their phone to track or manage some aspect of their health, according to Pew Research Center’s report “Mobile Health 2012,” the most recent comprehensive report on the topic. In June, Flurry mobile analytics reported that health and fitness apps grew 62 percent in usage from December 2013 to June 2014. The overall growth of app usage was 33 percent.
Attention ladies! That rundown feeling you experienced last month just might have been the weight of the government balanced on your shoulders. Case in point: October’s government shutdown is over – for now – but in recent history, the government has shut down 18 times. Six of those times – arguably seven, but let’s not quibble – have been the end result of arguments about funding women’s health and/or welfare. October’s two-week shutdown was a petulant attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – which contains an unprecedented amount of initiatives aimed at women, including extending free preventive care (birth control), maternity coverage and eliminating the so-called gender rating, where women are charged more for insurance simply because they are women.