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4 Stories About Social Media's Awesome Power

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, November 6, 2012

USA Today picked up the story and featured it in its health section, but the next twist was a social media one. "We had USA Today embed a Twitter widget, so for one hour, you could talk to Dick Berger on Twitter about wrist pain, UT split tears, and how they're diagnosed and treated."

Erin Turner, a resident of Washington D.C., had been living with wrist pain for about five years. Her mother spotted the USA Today Twitter chat with Berger and told her daughter to get online and follow it.

"She felt during that conversation on Twitter that she understood enough about Dick Berger, about the disease, about its management, to come and make an appointment to be seen at the Mayo Clinic," Timimi says. A successful treatment followed.

Timimi's third social media story picks up on the e-patient phenomenon. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is a rare syndrome where people develop a spontaneous tear in the coronary lumen. "The tear propagates, a blood clot forms behind the torn flap, and occludes the artery," he says. "It could lead to debility, heart failure, or death."

Until recently, few studies had been performed on SCAD. Katherine Leon received the diagnosis, and joined an Inspire.com community of over 7,000 female heart patients hosted by "WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women With Heart Disease." Soon, Leon and another SCAD sufferer, Laura Haywood-Cory, decided it was time to make someone in healthcare study the syndrome. They discovered a women's heart conference in Rochester and went there in person.

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1 comments on "4 Stories About Social Media's Awesome Power"


Cathy (11/7/2012 at 5:40 PM)
Social Media has changed my life, I used to feel like I was making SCAD up, I gave up looking for answers, thankfully Katherine and Laura didn't. I found the Survivors Group and am ready to tell the world about it. Thank you ladies!!!