Twitter croudsourcing found effective for dermatologic diagnoses

January 12, 2021

At the start of the pandemic, many doctors on the front lines turned to Twitter and other social media platforms to find guidance and solace directly from their peers. In early 2020, information on COVID-19 had yet to be studied and published in peer-reviewed journals or printed in medical textbooks. Since then, social media has been characterized as both a boon to medical communities seeking real time information and a major driver of misinformation on the virus and its spread. A new study from researchers at the University of Paris provides support for social media as a potentially useful tool in the doctor's diagnostic toolkit and a way for general practitioners with questions to connect to specialists who may have the answers.

In France, some general practitioners have turned to social media for help diagnosing common dermatological conditions. They post a deidentified photo of a skin condition to Twitter or MedPics, a private social networking site for doctors, and other clinicians can respond with their diagnosis. In a retrospective observational study, researchers compared the accuracy of using social media to crowdsource a dermatological diagnosis to the accuracy of asking a dermatologist using more traditional telemedicine methods. Researchers found that diagnoses suggested by doctors on social media generally agreed with teledermatology results, and diagnoses were even more strongly aligned when dermatologists were active in the crowdsourced response. When the images posted to social media were reviewed by an expert committee of dermatologists, the researcher found that primary diagnoses from social media were accurate about 60% of the time, whereas teledermatology consultations were correct about 55% of the time, with no significant difference between the two studied methods.

These results suggest that social media can be as useful as teledermatology services for doctors when diagnosing common and minor dermatological conditions, but consultation with an expert dermatologist may still be necessary. The authors acknowledge that social media is less secure than standard medical communications technologies and that Twitter and other public platforms do not take the same measures to protect patients' privacy.
-end-
Diagnostic Agreement Between Telemedicine on Social Networks and Teledermatology Centers
Alexandre Malmartel, MD and Sophia Serhrouchni, MD
University of Paris, Department of General Medicine, Paris, France
https://www.annfammed.org/content/19/1/24

American Academy of Family Physicians

Related Social Media Articles from Brightsurf:

it's not if, but how people use social media that impacts their well-being
New research from UBC Okanagan indicates what's most important for overall happiness is how a person uses social media.

Social media postings linked to hate crimes
A new paper in the Journal of the European Economic Association, published by Oxford University Press, explores the connection between social media and hate crimes.

How Steak-umm became a social media phenomenon during the pandemic
A new study outlines how a brand of frozen meat products took social media by storm - and what other brands can learn from the phenomenon.

COVID-19: Social media users more likely to believe false information
A new study led by researchers at McGill University finds that people who get their news from social media are more likely to have misperceptions about COVID-19.

Stemming the spread of misinformation on social media
New research reported in the journal Psychological Science finds that priming people to think about accuracy could make them more discerning in what they subsequently share on social media.

Looking for better customer engagement value? Be more strategic on social media
According to a new study from the University of Vaasa and University of Cyprus, the mere use of social media alone does not generate customer value, but rather, the connections and interactions between the firm and its customers -- as well as among customers themselves -- can be used strategically for resource transformation and exchanges between the interacting parties.

Exploring the use of 'stretchable' words in social media
An investigation of Twitter messages reveals new insights and tools for studying how people use stretched words, such as 'duuuuude,' 'heyyyyy,' or 'noooooooo.' Tyler Gray and colleagues at the University of Vermont in Burlington present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on May 27, 2020.

How social media platforms can contribute to dehumanizing people
A recent analysis of discourse on Facebook highlights how social media can be used to dehumanize entire groups of people.

Social media influencers could encourage adolescents to follow social distancing guidelines
Public health bodies should consider incentivizing social media influencers to encourage adolescents to follow social distancing guidelines, say researchers.

Social grooming factors influencing social media civility on COVID-19
A new study analyzing tweets about COVID-19 found that users with larger social networks tend to use fewer uncivil remarks when they have more positive responses from others.

Read More: Social Media News and Social Media Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.