The cardiology profession hasn’t exactly embraced Twitter.
When the American Heart Association conducted an informal poll of a select group of members, only two of about 75 respondents said they used Twitter. And those two reported using the popular 140-character social networking service “infrequently,” according to a spokeswoman for the organization.
Nonetheless, some notable cardiologists have embraced Twitter — one even wrote a useful guide to help cardiologists get started on it — and certainly more figure to adopt the technology as it becomes more ubiquitous in the future.
So here’s a look at these somewhat early adopters, with a completely subjective list of the top 10 cardiologists to follow on Twitter, in no particular order.
Eric Topol: Probably the most prominent cardiologist on Twitter, Topol is chief academic officer with Scripps Health in San Diego. Topol made his name heading up Cleveland Clinic‘s world-renowned heart program, but recently has become one of the top evangelists for digital health technology’s ability to revolutionize healthcare. He typically tweets multiple times per day and has amassed more than 3,000 followers.
David Albert: Albert is a bow-tie-wearing Oklahoma physician-entrepreneur who has started several companies, including InnovAlarm, Lifetone Technology and AliveCor. He enjoys tweeting about the intersection of technology and medicine.
Leslie Saxon: Saxon is chief of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Southern California. She’s also executive director of the school’s Center for Body Computing, which bills itself as a leader in connected healthcare. Similar to Topol, Saxon is at the forefront of the consumer-driven, wireless health movement.
Westby Fisher: Author of the previously mentioned and highly recommended Twitter guide for cardiologists, Doctor Wes is a Chicago-area cardiac electrophysiologist. He’s amassed more than 4,000 followers on Twitter and has been blogging since 2005.
John Mandrola: A cardiac electrophysiologist from Louisville, Kentucky, Mandrola tweets frequently about medical issues and also is a veteran blogger. “I believe that success — in most anything — comes from mastering the obvious,” he says.
Christopher Cannon: Cannon is a cardiologist with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and also works as an editor with the American College of Cardiology. He doesn’t tweet as frequently as one would like, but when he does the topic is often a cardiology-related issue.
Edward Schloss: Schloss is director of cardiac electrophysiology at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. He’s recently enjoyed tweeting about a cardiovascular conference on St. Jude Medical’s recall of its Riata defibrillator leads and the Mountain Goats.
James Beckerman: The camera-friendly Portland, Oregon, cardiologist Beckerman boasts in the first line of his bio of multimedia appearances on the Today Show, the Dr. Oz Show and the Huffington Post. He recently wrote “The Flex Diet,” a book that instructs consumers to design their own weight loss plan from a list of 200 choices. He recommends substituting apple sauce for oil when baking muffins.
David Lee Scher: Scher is a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania cardiac-electrophysiologist-turned-digital-health-consultant-and-blogger. For digital health companies, he says his specialties include “customizing work flow” and “assessing partnering opportunities.” He’s a prodigious retweeter, having retweeted messages in recent days from the likes of Lawrence Tynes, Kevin Pho and Ann Coulter.
James Rudd: Rudd is a United Kingdom-based cardiologist and researcher who focuses on imaging of plaque in atherosclerosis patients. He refers to himself as a “Mac geek” and maintains a blog called “Plaque Imaging” that he hasn’t updated in a while.
[Photo from flickr user Rosaura Ochoa]