|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2021 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 43-44
Twitter as an educational tool for point-of-care ultrasonography in nephrology: A “Reach” analysis
Abhilash Koratala1, Deepti Bhattacharya1, Amir Kazory2
1 Division of Nephrology, University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas, USA
2 Division of Nephrology, Hypertension, and Renal Transplantation, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA
|Date of Submission||09-Aug-2019|
|Date of Decision||28-Sep-2019|
|Date of Acceptance||02-Jun-2021|
|Date of Web Publication||30-Jun-2021|
Division of Nephrology, University of Texas Health, San Antonio, Texas
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Koratala A, Bhattacharya D, Kazory A. Twitter as an educational tool for point-of-care ultrasonography in nephrology: A “Reach” analysis. Educ Health 2021;34:43-4
As point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS) is emerging within internal medicine and subspecialties as a potential means to improve patient care, a novel educational tool may conceivably help its more widespread acquisition. Twitter is an appealing platform to succinctly share medical education-related material and is rapidly gaining popularity among health-care professionals., However, the factors leading to higher engagement of this group of users of tweets have yet to be identified.
In general, tweets containing hashtags and images are known to reach a larger audience., The potential reach of a tweet is estimated by the “impressions” (Io) and “engagements” (Eo) defined as the number of times users saw the tweet and interacted with it, respectively. One other helpful metric is the number of times a tweet has been reposted by another user, i.e. “retweets” (Ro).
Using a Twitter handle dedicated to POCUS (i.e. @NephroP), we sought to explore the impact of visual content (tweets with infographics vs. plain images), subtopic (renal POCUS vs. fluid volume assessment), and adding a well-known hashtag in medical education, i.e. #FOAMed (Free Open Access Medical education) to #POCUS on the reach of the tweets. We analyzed the “top 15” tweets from the @NephroP handle over a 90-day period (February 20, 2019, to May 20, 2019) using built-in Twitter analytics. The key elements of a tweet and the difference between an infographic and a plain image are illustrated in [Figure 1].
|Figure 1: Illustration of the Anatomy of a Tweet as well as infographic versus a plain image|
Click here to view
Interestingly, 100% of the top 15 tweets contained an image. The mean number of Io, Eo, and Ro earned was 7823, 680.5, and 35.7, respectively. There was no difference in reach between tweets containing infographics and those without as indicated by Io (8362 vs. 6741, P = 0.35), Eo (785.2 vs. 471.2, P = 0.17), or Ro (38.4 vs. 30.4, P = 0.35). Tweets about urinary tract POCUS and those about volume assessment did not differ in Io (7788 vs. 8180, P = 0.88), Eo (594.8 vs. 752.4, P = 0.55), or Ro (36.2 vs. 37.1, P = 0.91). Similarly, there was no difference between tweets with or without the hashtag #FOAMed in Io (6969 vs. 8798, P = 0.26), Eo (557.4 vs. 821.3, P = 0.23), or Ro (32 vs. 40, P = 0.32).
In summary, similar to reported data from general users, all top POCUS-related tweets contained an image. However, contrary to what would be expected for an image-based communication, the presence of infographics or addition of an education-related hashtag does not seem to change the engagement of POCUS audience or dissemination of the content. Based on this observation, the Twitter's built-in analytics seem to represent a readily accessible means to enhance its educational value through identification of the factors that boost engagement of the audience in less well-established fields such as POCUS in nephrology.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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