We are excited to announce the next step in growing the Figure 1 community. As of today, we are making hospital accounts available on our platform, and are thrilled that the first one will belong to Cincinnati Children’s Department of Radiology.
Cincinnati Children’s is one of the oldest and most distinguished pediatric hospitals in the United States, and was named one of the top children’s hospitals by U.S. News and World Report (2014-15). The Radiology Department is a leader in pediatric diagnostic imaging, radiology research and education, and radiation dose reduction.
The radiology department, known on social media channels as CincyKidsRad, will post content on Figure 1 regularly, and we look forward to the educational value its medical cases will bring to the community. View and follow Cincinnati Kids’ account on Figure 1: @CincyKidsRad.
To mark this milestone, we spoke to Alexander Towbin, MD and Saad Ranginwala, MD about the CincyKidsRad approach to digital health.
What motivated your department to take such a progressive view on sharing information online?
SR: Social media has become the predominant form of communication and content consumption, so it made sense to extend medical education to that sphere. The idea behind the FOAM (Free Open Access Medicine) movement – that education should be open and free – is very powerful, and these platforms help us share interesting content easily and efficiently. Not only are we reaching people who are interested in learning more about radiology, we’re also showcasing the good work done at Cincinnati Children’s.
AT: Prior to sharing our images online, we’d developed a strong following on Facebook and Twitter. Image sharing enabled us to reach a whole other segment of people who are interested in the work that we are doing. Radiology is particularly well suited for image-based learning as it provides quick teaching points in one or two images. Further, pediatric radiology is a very unique sub-specialty that offers a wealth of educational content.
What benefits has the Radiology Department seen as a result of its digital footprint?
AT: We have received really great feedback about our digital footprint. Our patients and families are able to interact with us from anywhere at any time and learn about what’s happening at the hospital. Many of our patients’ parents go online to learn more about their child’s condition, and we hope that the content we share can help them access reliable information. We have also had people who were interested in participating in our studies come to us through Facebook and Twitter.
SR: Physicians in the radiology community have also developed a good sense of what the Department of Radiology at Cincinnati Children’s is doing. We’ve been able to reach hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals across the United States and internationally with interesting medical cases. People are increasingly in contact with social media, especially on mobile platforms, and taking advantage of that trend helps to cater to changing practices. Businesses have begun to do this, and we believe hospitals will also see the benefit of having a social media footprint as a way to differentiate themselves in the near future.
How is CincyKidsRad integrating technology into pediatric care?
AT: We’re using technology to help our patients – young children – get through difficult procedures. They can use iPads to listen to music or play games while they’re being treated at the hospital. We’re making it easier for children to get through MRI’s, which last for at least 40-50 minutes. That’s a long time for anyone to remain still, so we provide video goggles that play music or show movies that they can bring from home or choose from our library. We also use technology to help with translation. After English, the two most spoken patient languages are Spanish and Arabic, so we’re using FaceTime to bring interpreters into our conversations when one isn’t available on site.
SR: Residents can also access a lot of CincyKidsRad content during the course of their day. Along with our digital footprint, we’ve authored a lot of e-textbooks and other online resources. So, we’re helping the next generation of doctors prepare for treating young children.
To connect with healthcare professionals around the world who are viewing, discussing, and sharing medical cases, join Figure 1.