The social media revolution is changing the conference experience: Why not in AURO congress

Andrea Fandella1, Elisa Guidoni1
  • 1 Casa di Cura Giovanni XXIII (Monastier di Treviso)

Objective

Social media have become so integrated into modern communications as to be universal in our personal and, increasingly, professional lives. Recent examples of social media uptake in urology, and the emergence of data to quantify it, reveal the expansion of conventional communication routes beyond the in-person forum. In every domain of urologic practice, from patient interaction through research to continuing professional development, the move online has unlocked another layer of conversation, dissemination, and, indeed, caveats. Social media have a democratizing effect, placing patients, trainees, practitioners, and thought leaders in the same arena and on equal footing. If uptake of social media in medicine even remotely parallels its rise to ubiquity in other areas, it will only expand and evolve in the coming years.

Materials and Methods

Twitter activity was noted at all eight conferences in 2013. In all, 12 363 tweets were sent generating over 14 million impressions. The number of participants tweeting at each meeting varied from 80 (Congress of the Société Internationale d'Urologie, #SIU2013) to 573 (the American Urological Association, #AUA13). Overall, the AUA meeting (#AUA13) generated the most Twitter activity with >8.6 million impressions and a total of 4663 tweets over the peri-conference period. It also had the most impressions and tweets per day over this period, at 717 000 and 389, respectively. The EAU Annual Congress 2013 (#EAU13) generated 1.74 million impressions from a total of 1762 tweets from 236 participants. For trends in Twitter use, there was a very sharp rise in Twitter activity at the EAU Annual Congress between 2012 and 2014. Over this 3-year period, the number of participants increased almost 10-fold, leading to an increase in the number of tweets from 347 to almost 6000. At #EAU14, digital impressions reached 7.35 million with 5903 tweets sent by 797 participants.

Results

Interprofessional Networking Expansion of professional network, within and outside specialty Enhanced clinical care through case discussion, create New opportunities for academic collaboration.
Give us access to communication with key opinion leaders.
There were 3 categories of interest of Twitter in the field of urology: spread of scientific knowledge, scientific interaction during medical conferences and medical education and international medical debates. The unique spread of evidence-based-medecine through traditional scientific journals in paper version is over. Main scientific journals in urology and scientific societies are now using a Twitter account and became virtual. They use new bibliometrics available on #SoMe to estimate the social impact. Twitter allows for a better interactivity of doctors attending scientific conferences. Exponential use of Twitter is in the interest of speakers and leaders, audience and scientific societies. Lastly, medical academic education and continuing medical education can be achieved through #SoMe. Twitter became a lively virtual platform for scientific debates for complex oncological cases (dematerialized tumor board). Twitter is also a place for intense scientific discussion during virtual journal club without geographic or timeline restriction.

Discussions

Social media have become so integrated into modern communications as to be universal in our personal and, increasingly, professional lives. In each domain of urologic practice, from patient interaction through research to continuing professional development, the move online has unlocked another layer of conversation, dissemination and, indeed, caveats.
Social media have a democratizing effect, placing patients, trainees, practitioners, and thought leaders in the same arena and on equal footing. If uptake of social media in Social media have a democratizing effect, placing patients, trainees, practitioners, and thought leaders in the same arena and on equal footing. If uptake of social media in medicine even remotely parallels its rise to ubiquity in other areas, there is certain to be further expansion of its roles as described above, and novel uses will certainly continue to emerge. For these reasons, urologists should be aware of these technologies, as none is likely to be spared their impact in the
future.

Conclusion

Urological conferences, to a varying extent, have adopted social media as a means of amplifying the conference experience to a wider audience, generating international engagement and global reach. Twitter is a very powerful tool that amplifies the content of scientific meetings, and conference organisers should put in place strategies to capitalise on this.
Twitter is a social media web site created in 2006 that allows users to post Tweets, which are text-based messages containing up to 140 characters. It has grown exponentially in popularity; now more than 340 million Tweets are sent daily, and there are more than 140 million users. Twitter has become an important tool in medicine in a variety of contexts, allowing medical journals to engage their audiences, conference attendees to interact with one another in real time, and physicians to have the opportunity to interact with politicians, organizations, and the media in a manner that can be freely observed. There are also tremendous research opportunities since Twitter contains a database of public opinion that can be mined by keywords and hashtags. This article serves as an introduction to Twitter and surveys the peer-reviewed literature concerning its various uses and original studies. Opportunities for use in ophthalmology are outlined, and a recommended list of ophthalmology feeds on Twitter is presented. Overall, Twitter is an underutilized resource in italian Urology practice and has the potential to enhance professional collegiality, advocacy, and scientific research.

References

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