Last night I participated in my second "Twitterchat". With my first one I was simply a "lurker", sitting in the background, watching the logistics and remarks. The topic of this one was mobile health, better know on-line as mHealth, and was sponsored by a group I follow on Twitter, iMedicalapps. This time I was an active participant as the group discussed several topics--how knowledgeable physicians are about mHealth, how it can help our patients and how to get more physicians to understand and use it.
While physicians have adopted personal use of Facebook and iPads in droves they are much more hesitant to use these tools on a professional basis for many reasons--time constraints, HIPAA concerns, no familiarity with the technology, etc. This Twitterchat's purpose was to address those issues and see if individuals had ideas on how to make changes in physician habits.
After the chat was finished my reflections went somewhere along the lines of "Well that didn't seem to be very helpful." And then it hit me, the actual chat may not have been all that substantive, especially when everyone is talking at once and it is impossible to read all of the comments as they go whizzing by on the Tweetchat screen. What was of significance was meeting these individuals, seeing how they are approaching similar issues to your own and making contacts that could grow into collaborative efforts in the future. To quote Homer Simpson "DOH!"
Somewhere "out there" on the net, I read that Twitter is most akin to a giant cocktail party. It's great metaphor but someday soon I hope to meet many of these fascinating people face-to-face. In the meantime I will lift a glass of wine as I tap my laptop keys and toast to this fascinating new technology.