The Twitter experience isn’t complete without hashtags.
Hashtags help facilitate conversations on the popular social media platform, help other users discover what discussion topics are trending and are an extremely useful tool in focusing on information that’s important while excluding what isn’t.
But some complain that the hashtag is misused and misunderstood.
“The hashtag is incredibly important as it is the sole way of providing context to the content you are posting,” said Quora user Mike Vosters. “However, it is subject to criticism as a large portion of Twitter users are not educated on its true purpose, and use it as a sort of punchline at the end of their tweet.”
With that in mind, we offer the following list of 15 useful hashtags for those interested in keeping up with the latest buzz in the healthcare industry.
For marketers: With the possible exception of teenage girls, nobody loves social media like marketers. That’s why it’s appropriate to start the list with the popular #hcsm (healthcare social media) hashtag. True believers should participate in the weekly #hcsm chats, which start at 9 p.m. Eastern on Sundays.
For mobile enthusiasts: Mobile is one of the hottest areas in healthcare and figures to be for the foreseeable future. Stay up on the latest by following #digitalhealth, #mhealth and #healthapps. If only the nation’s most prominent digital health lover/physician, Dr. Eric Topol (a frequent Tweeter), would use these hashtags more often …
For IT lovers: Broadening things out a bit from mobile — but without getting too broad — the subject of health information technology has its own distinct hashtags, including #healthit, #hit and #ehr (electronic health records.) Tweets using these hashtags involve topics like cloud computing, telemedicine and clinical informatics. (Note that the #hit tag doesn’t have the greatest signal-to-noise ratio, featuring, for example, a reference to the 2Pac classic “Hit ‘Em Up.”)
For more traditional industry players: Despite the rise of health IT in recent years, a huge part of the healthcare industry is still concentrated in drugs and devices, and that’s not changing anytime soon. To stay up on the latest in the medical device and pharmaceuticals industries, follow hashtags such as: #meddevice, #medtech, #pharma and #biotech.
For anybody we’ve missed: For those with slightly less categorize-able interests in healthcare, the following hashtags are the best of the rest: #hcr (healthcare reform), #ptsafety (patient safety), #meded (medical education) and #healthinnovations.
[Photo from flickr user jeffisageek]
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