Tag Archives: social media

Pubmed is LIVE on Social Media – Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of July 21, 2014)

Pubmed Social Media Icons
PubMed Update: Social Media Icons Added. NLM Tech Bull. 2014 Jul-Aug;(399):b2. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/ja14/brief/ja14_pm_social_media_icons.html

Have you been straddling the fence deciding whether or not social media is “a thing” in healthcare? Well, maybe this will tip the balance. Pubmed now includes social media sharing icons at the article level, as shown in the image above. This is in addition to NIH’s own active life on social media. Unfortunately, when I was testing it out, every now and then what it shared was not the link to the article, but a link to the search strategy from which I found the articles. Hopefully, they’ll get that fixed, but usually it was good. Here’s what it looks like when sharing something to Twitter.

Pubmed Social Media Sharing Example: Twitter

In honor of this noteworthy change, I thought I’d divert from actual hashtags to seeing what people are sharing from Pubmed this week. If you really want hashtags, take a look at what hashtags they are ADDING to the posts, since Pubmed doesn’t automatically add any.


First posted at THL Blog: http://thlibrary.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/pubmed-is-live-on-social-media-hashtags-of-the-week-hotw-week-of-july-21-2014/

20 Ways to Reuse Repository Content (Infographic of the Week)

20 ways to reuse repository content
Image source: Ayre, Lucy and Madjarevic, Natalia (2014) 20 ways to reuse repository content. In: Open Repositories 2014, 9-13 June 2014, Helsinki, Finland.

Last week, I was pleasantly surprised to find an infographic within a research article. This week is less surprising, but still a very practical application of infographics — a research poster! I can absolutely see using this idea myself, and actually saw a number of infographic/posters at a recent convention. The take home lesson from that is that infographic design and best practices are becoming a core competency for academics of all stripes.

This particular infographic struck my fancy because it provides interesting insights into ideas and strategies for maximising the impact of academic products. Create your research article and deposit a copy with the local institutional repository (which is, here, Deep Blue).

Deep Blue, 2014

Then you are done, and on to the next project. Right? Or not. One thing I’ve learned is that talk to a researcher around campus and most of them have a story about their favorite project that never got the attention they think it warranted. This infographic is chock full of ideas for what to do about that. Placing a copy in the repository is only the beginning.

#Kellergate — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of January 20, 2014)

The Beginning of Kellergate

If you were busy last week, you might have missed what has become known as “Kellergate.” It erupted with an article in the Guardian by Emma Gilbey Keller, which was shortly followed by a companion piece in the New York Times by her husband, Bill Keller. Both pieces were about about famed breast cancer blogger Lisa Adams.

Emma tweeted about her post right away, and Lisa replied quickly. As of today, there are 40 replies to that initial tweet, and it is enlightening to click through and read through the initial dialog.

Keller, Emma G. Forget funeral selfies. What are the ethics of tweeting a terminal illness? The Guardian Wednesday 8 January 2014 13.40 EST. Original link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/08/lisa-adams-tweeting-cancer-ethics Archive link: https://web.archive.org/web/20140109033020/http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/08/lisa-adams-tweeting-cancer-ethics

Bill Keller also tweeted out when he published his piece on Lisa Adams, a tweet which has 39 replies at the time of writing this, again with many upset responses.

Keller, Bill. Heroic Measures. Op-Ed. New York Times JAN. 12, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/13/opinion/keller-heroic-measures.html

What both Kellers seemed to not understand is the role of patient communities in social media, and that the breast cancer community is one of the largest, most active, and most passionate of Twitter patient communities. Both posts were perceived as an attack on Lisa (justifiably), and the community reacted. The authors, at least Emma, seemed genuinely surprised.

Now, you know something is really controversial when ‘comedians’ start to pick up on it. And then when people start to make parodies of other replies!

I’ve just come from a phenomenal presentation given by Phyllis Meadows for Martin Luther King Day celebrations here at the University of Michigan. Much of what she was saying reverberated in my head, echoing aspects of what I’ve been hearing in the many conversations about Kellergate. For starters, Phyllis Meadows (a researcher on public health in communities) said earlier today, “Sometimes our intent and our impact are very different.” Clearly, this is the case with Kellergate. I’d like to frame some of this post in the context of Dr. Meadows’ MLK Day presentation. [Please note, I am working from my notes of the presentation, not a transcription or recording, so may have inaccuracies in my quotations.]

The extremely abbreviated background on Kellergate is that two journalists wrote public pieces commenting on intimate details of the life of a cancer patient (Lisa) who has chosen to share much of her life online. The first journalist (Emma) has since admitted that the article included excerpts from content that was shared with her through private modes (direct messages and email) without either notifying Lisa nor requesting permission to share them. The second journalist (Bill) had several errors of fact in his piece resulting from inadequate research, including such easily discoverable bits as the number of Lisa’s children, which is stated on her homepage. The first was a clear breach of professional ethics, and the second creates questions about professional practice, but both have actually become almost a red herring in the larger context of the conversation, which focuses on community, context, communication, caring, compassion, and comprehension (ie. listening).

Dr. Meadows emphasized the role of elitism in creating health disparities and creating barriers to finding solutions relevant to the community.

“Who speaks.
Who listens.
Who is expected to listen.
Who is responsible.
Who is blamed.
Who makes decisions.”

Clearly, both of the journalists and their parent publications were expecting to speak, and be listened to, but were not expecting to have so very many people talk back. Commentary on the posts includes both those who criticize the Kellers and those who support them …

… , although the former seem to FAR outweigh the latter.

Kellergate Responses

The phrase / hashtag #Kellergate emerged after the second essay was published.

At this point in time, there are literally HUNDREDS of responses to Kellergate, both within the official media as well as in the blogosphere, and several thousands more if you count tweets. Phyllis Meadows, in the question and answer portion of her MLK Day talk, commented, “Most people don’t know how to talk to each other. Discourse begins by seeking clarity, asking WHY you ask that question, rather than answering based on assumptions from my mental model.”

The Keller pieces both struck a raw nerve. I don’t know if the New York Times or the Guardian are interested in healing the breach that this has created between them and the large breast cancer social media community, but if they are, perhaps they might want to create an open honest space for continued dialog around this topic. I am delighted to see the POWER of the #BCSM community, and delighted that the world can now witness that power, but I am hoping that the conversation doesn’t detour into blaming on both sides and a repetitive recreation of the injury, but rather serves as a springboard for healing. Let the journalists learn more about our communities and how to communicate with them. Let the questions they were trying to raise become a healthy honest part of the social media communities and their conversations.


First posted at the THL Blog: http://thlibrary.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/kellergate-hashtags-of-the-week-hotw-week-of-january-20-2014/

“How Many Hives?”: Social Media Can Prevent a Crisis with Storytelling, Engagement, & Training

Michigan RenFest 2010

This post is about food allergies and communication strategies. But let’s step back a bit and see how I got here.

Yesterday morning early (for me, but not for most docs), I attended the local Pediatrics Grand Rounds with presenter Joyce Lee. Joyce was talking on Twitter uses for clinicians and researchers. That will be another blogpost, once I have a chance to work through some of the content presented. For today, I wanted to highlight one particular bit that Joyce presented about kids with food allergies. I had somehow previously missed this, and it is too good to miss! I am particularly interested in this since both my son and I also have food allergies.

Joyce is a pediatrician (I’m oversimplifying), and a mom of kids with pretty severe food allergies. She’s also very engaged in new technologies and is interested in new learning modalities and social media. That gives a bit of context for how she and her son came up with these phenomenal and effective ways for him to both learn and communicate what he needs to have for health care crisis prevention and support from the people around him. Frankly, from what I’m seeing here, he is MUCH better at being aware of his needs and communicating them than I am. This is also a very cool idea that I wish I had thought of when my kid was in need of this. I have a lot to learn here, and this strategy would have prevented a whole boatload of problems & events for our family over several years. This is GENIUS, pure and simple.

Joyce’s son, “B,” has severe food allergies. Note that they use a letter “B” instead of his name? This is to protect his privacy on social media. This is a good best practice, and one the kids should learn and adopt as well as the parents and teachers. And family friends, and pastors, and acquaintances, and … EVERYONE! Please, DON’T use a kid’s real name online!

The problem with food allergies, which I’ve faced, is at school other kids and teachers don’t understand and can inadvertently poison the poor kid. I remember how I wept with anger and frustration when I discovered that the school therapist my son was seeing was rewarding him for good behavior with foods that triggered undesirable behavior, and then sending him back into the mainstream classroom. I bet his main teacher wasn’t too happy either, and Lord alone knows how much school he missed from the migraines triggered by the dangerous foods. For B, a mistake like that could kill him.

PART ONE

So now, Joyce’s son has a blog.

I Have Food Allergies
I Have Food Allergies:
http://ihavefoodallergies.tumblr.com/

On his blog, he has his Youtube videos. This is the storytelling part of the post. Part One describes how to tell if he’s having a reaction, and what to do. Part Two describes how to avoid poisoning him, since it isn’t always obvious (as I am STILL learning, with my own food sensitivities). Here is the first video. When she showed this in Grand Rounds, the entire room full of doctors and nurses and other hospital staff were ooohing and aaahing and laughing. It is a very charming and effective way to deliver this lifesaving content. That’s the training part.


Allergy Action Plan (Antihistamine versus Epipen) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ymah1199xo

Joyce wrote a separate blogpost that explained the background, mechanics, theory, and how this was made.

Online Peer to Peer Education or shall we call it Peer to Teacher Education?
http://joycelee.tumblr.com/post/31910454867/online-peer-to-peer-education-or-shall-we-call-it

This is pretty cool stuff. Even more cool, the school decided to show the video to all of the kids in the school, 700 of them, and all the teachers. That’s the engagement part. Even more engagement, a blogpost by Wendy Sue Swanson (a.k.a. Seattle Mama Doc) brought more attention to this. Would this video help others understand food allergies? Does this training from this one young boy extrapolate to other kids and families?

Bring Paperwork To Life: Food Allergies:
http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/bring-paperwork-to-life-food-allergies/

PART TWO

Now, for comparison, let’s take a look at what a food allergy action plan normally looks like.

Food Allergy Action Plan
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) (www.FoodAllergy.Org): Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan: http://www.foodallergy.org/document.doc?id=234

I’ll tell you, this is vastly more attractive, clear, and engaging than what they had when my now-college-age son was in school. Still, despite the vast improvements, it is a little scary to read through, especially if you are the one responsible for saving the life of someone else’s kid. It gives you the information, but it doesn’t make you laugh, or hear the kid’s voice when they describe how it feels for them when things go wrong.

The second video is my favorite. Less dire, but it covers all the information I need so desperately to communicate to my colleagues, restaurants, and friends. How do you not poison me? Wash the table, wash your hands, be wary of tricky foods. I especially love the part about tricky foods.


Allergy Action Plan, Part 2 (Please don’t poison me) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGG6_EuK3oM

I wish so much I could make every restaurant employee in the country watch this video. And have it translated into other languages. My family spends a lot of time embedded in Japanese cultural activities, which includes Japanese restaurants. My main problem is with gluten, and you’d think I’d be safe there since their cuisine is based heavily on rice. You’d have trouble believing some of the bizarre experiences I’ve had in Japanese restaurants because of the language barrier — servers who bring me the gluten-free soy sauce, and then bring my food already doused with regular soy sauce. Oh, miso? Yes, it has wheat in it. (After I’ve eaten it and my mouth is tingling and swelling.) So why did you bring it to me? [Imagine a cranky face. More than cranky.]

Here Joyce explains more of the outcomes from the first video and considers aspect that might explain why it has proved so effective.

Allergy Action Plan Part 2: http://joycelee.tumblr.com/post/36728442953/allergy-action-plan-part-2-its-been-a-while-since

PART THREE

Did they stop there? Of course not!

One of the challenges of food allergies is that despite massive fine-tuning of your lifestyle, education of others, and so forth, there is no point at which you are completely safe, no point at which you can stop being aware, when you can rest and relax and trust that you are safe. But all of us have times when we’re tired, worn out, just not on top of our game, and must trust others to watch out for us when we aren’t quite doing such a great job ourselves. Something always happens. It is just when you get to the point of feeling safe, let down your guard, and that’s when it happens.

The videos are awesome and amazing, but what about when you aren’t online, when the class is outside or on a field trip? Joyce and B have made nametags, bookbag lists, and collaborated on making a booklet with his information. Kind of a quick reference as a backup for the content in the videos. Even better, they’ve made the original files available free online for other families and parents to use.

DESIGNING FOR HEALTH: A PEDIATRIC PROTOTYPE FOCUSED ON ALLERGIES http://joycelee.tumblr.com/post/50507408498/designing-for-health-a-pediatric-prototype-focused-on

Check out the blogpost for the other file links, but here is the PDF of the insides of the booklet.

Allergy Booklet: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1112237/nametag/allergy%20booklet_51213.pdf

MORE

Joyce is not the only parent using social media to get out their story about food allergies, trying to get people to understand what it’s like. The more people understand, the safer life will be for those of us with food allergies and sensitivities. Here is another post from Seattle Mama Doc to round out the information in the post, and provide more context. These aren’t part of Joyce’s official story, but I bet she’s familiar with this stories. I know I am.

Four Hours on a School Bus: http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/four-hours-on-a-school-bus/

Here is a little more information. The basics, all in one small tidy package, and a couple useful links to learn more.

Don’t Be Shy About Food Allergies http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org/dont-be-shy-about-food-allergies/

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE): http://www.foodallergy.org/

Kids with Food Allergies: http://community.kidswithfoodallergies.org/pages/community

#CoolToys: Lifestreaming

Today’s Cool Toys Conversations group met to learn more about lifestreaming (not livestreaming, as some attendees thought). Britain Woodman was our fearless leader for the day, and folk were encouraged to also look at how Shawn Sieg lives the lifestreaming life. Here are a few highlights from the meeting.

What’s Lifestreaming?

“A lifestream is a time-ordered stream of documents that functions as a diary of your electronic life; every document you create and every document other people send you is stored in your lifestream.”
The Yale Lifestreams Project Page, Circa 1996: http://cs-www.cs.yale.edu/homes/freeman/lifestreams.html

Why Lifestream?

Other reasons discussed included adding value for others, transparency, making yourself and your personal brand more discoverable, ease of discovery for others as well as for yourself, as an external memory aid, simplifying your content production, searchability, safety (crime prevention), and more. One motivator for some is to connect various information streams to discover new insights, especially in the context of quantified-self and self-tracking for health. MakeUseOf posted about incentives that drive lifestreaming. There was an interesting conversation around Robert Scoble’s post on this back in 2009, but evidently the original post has disappeared or moved with the loss of Posterous.

The new billion-dollar opportunity: real-time-web curation. (Read the comments on this). http://friendfeed.com/scobleizer/db61f306/new-billion-dollar-opportunity-real-time-web

What is StoryTlr?

StoryTlr

Storytlr is a very useful tool for aggregating and (partially) archiving your own content from various cloud-based services and social media streams into a personal space on your own server. It primarily archives the text in an SQL database format, with thumbnails for images, and links to the full images and videos. It does not archive the full images or videos. It also facilitates creating stories from your various media around a particular event or day. Storytlr is open source, with the source code on GitHub.

“You can import from 18 popular sources, easily post your own updates, pick from a range of styles and create compelling stories from your content.”

What if I don’t have my own server?

More Info About Lifestreaming & Lifelogging

Lifeloggers from Memoto on Vimeo.

Lifestream Blog: Lifelogging: Resources: http://lifestreamblog.com/lifelogging/

THEN

Lifelogging, An Inevitability (2007): http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2007/02/lifelogging_an.php

Karapanos, Evangelos, PhD. Blog http://www.ekarapanos.com/blog.html
[NOTE: Fascinating entries such as "Supporting Diary Studies with Lifelogging" and "Lifelogging tools for patients suffering episodic memory impairment."]

Krynsky, Mark. Understanding the Value of Lifestreaming (2009): http://lifestreamblog.com/understanding-the-value-of-lifestreaming/

Stanford Students Design for Lifelogging (2011): http://quantifiedself.com/2011/03/stanford-students-design-for-lifelogging/

NOW

How Lifelogging is Transforming the Way We Remember, Track Our Lives (2013) http://www.wired.com/insights/2013/06/how-lifelogging-is-transforming-the-way-we-remember-track-our-lives/

I always feel like somebody’s watching me: The effect of wearable cameras (2013): http://connect.dpreview.com/post/8900204429/wearable-camera-affect

‘Life logging’ app Saga lets you share every single moment of your life (2013): http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/30/life-logging-app-saga-lets-you-share-every-single-moment-of-your-life/

Logging our lives with wearable tech (2013): http://www.deccanherald.com/content/339162/logging-our-lives-wearable-tech.html

Using a Smartphone’s Eyes and Ears to Log Your Every Move | MIT Technology Review (2013) http://www.technologyreview.com/news/516566/using-a-smartphones-eyes-and-ears-to-log-your-every-move/

Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): Social Oncology Project (Week of May 27, 2013)

Originally posted at THL Blog http://thlibrary.wordpress.com/2013/05/31/hashtags-of-the-week-hotw-week-of-may-27-2013/ by Chris Bulin, @Arduanne.


This will be my last post for some time as I leave campus to complete an internship for the remainder of the summer. It has been a pleasure writing this feature and I hope everyone enjoys reading as much as I enjoyed investigating.

Nothing was really turning my crank this week until I came across this post:

Then I clicked on the link. They aggregated 16+ million tweets for this study (that’s a lot of data, Batman)! They also talk about the impact of awareness days/months/weeks and celebrity mentions on the social media cycle for oncology. I went to the hashtag mentioned, #soconcology, to find out more.

Because the report was released just a few hours before I began writing this post, there wasn’t as much reaction as I expected. I think there will definitely be increased awareness and attention in Twitter and blogs as people have an opportunity to digest all of the content. Today also starts the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting (#ASCO13), themed “Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer.” There were already presentations scheduled surrounding social media, but the conversation really exploded after this report was released. It’s also beginning to bleed over into the #hcsm hashtag.

Happy trails everyone. I’ll see you again in the Fall.

ECigs: ETech Meets Public Health Again (Part Two)

[For information on why I've been missing-in-action here, please see this post at my personal blog: http://mhistoire.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/breathing-in-memory-of-rose-ann-broussard-cooper-anderson/ I expect to be back in business next week.]


So, in Part One, the eCig conversation was largely framed through health and legislative perspectives, with concerns hooked substantially on potential use by minors and young adults. In part two, I want to dig a little deeper into some of these issues, and spin off in new directions, mostly workplace use, more about minors, and issues of DIY and unintended uses of e-cigs.

I keep saying how complicated is the issue of electronic cigarettes. This tweet illustrates part of that.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is one of the organizations most strongly advising caution with respect to e-cigs, and perceived as “the opposition” by the e-cig and vaping communities. Obviously, given that at least one person at their event was using an e-cig, this is not a topic with complete consensus, but it is also close enough to consensus to raise eyebrows and warrant comment. The issues are further complicated by the ACS accepting donations from e-cig manufacturers.

Similarly, despite the prolific and prominent vitriol from the vaping community regarding any suggestion that e-cigs warrant further research or concern or caution, there are elements of that community willing to work with the government and professional medical organizations on exactly those areas.

Growing Electronic Cigarette Manufacturer “Welcomes” FDA’s “Reasonable Regulation” Of Category:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/growing-electronic-cigarette-manufacturer-welcomes-fdas-reasonable-regulation-of-category-204121851.html

Given that e-cigs are an emerging technological alternative to the issue of smoking and that smoking in public spaces and the workplace has been a major issue over the past few decades, it’s no real surprise that there are guidelines and suggestions being created to advise employers about best practices for managing e-cigs in the workplace. Given that my own campus, University of Michigan, only recently went smoke-free (July 1, 2011), and that several of my friends are still struggling to make the switch, I expect that this is an issue worthy of local attention.

What employers need to know about electronic cigarettes? Fact Sheet, September 2011. (pdf)
http://www.businessgrouphealth.org/pub/f311fb03-2354-d714-51a9-0b67bb588666
Main points:
Quick Facts About E-Cigarettes
• Not an FDA-approved tobacco cessation device.
• Contain nicotine and detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals.
• Look very similar to regular cigarettes (especially from a distance).
• Manufactured using inconsistent or non-existent quality control processes.
Actions for Employers
• Determine whether the use of e-cigarettes is allowed in their jurisdictions, including in the workplace.
• Understand whether unions, works councils, or other laws can raise barriers to implementing workplace
policies regulating e-cigarettes.
• Stay informed on any new laws and emerging scientific evidence regarding e-cigarettes.

Please note the date on those tips, and that they haven’t been updated, although the conversation is far from over!

Sullum, Jacob. Boston Bans E-Cigarettes in Workplaces, Just Because. Dec. 2, 2011 http://reason.com/blog/2011/12/02/boston-bans-e-cigarettes-in-workplaces-f

American Society for Quality: Should e-Cigarettes Be Allowed in the Workplace? April 15, 2013 http://asq.org/qualitynews/qnt/execute/displaySetup?newsID=15801

One marketing firm addressed a sort of a case study of why one life insurance firm in Britain banned e-cigs at work, arguing against each of the points.


Should electric cigarettes be allowed in the workplace http://www.slideshare.net/jackwillis2005/ppt-should-e-cigarettes-be-allowed-in-the-workplace

Here are a couple links with pro and con information about the Standard Life policy decision. A major point seems to be the psychology of e-cig use, that because of their resemblance to real cigarettes they give the message that smoking is a good thing or at least permissible. I am not aware of any research into this assumption, although there is substantial evidence on the related concept of candy cigarettes.

The Scotsman: Standard Life bans employees from smoking electronic cigarettes at work (2012): http://www.scotsman.com/the-scotsman/health/standard-life-bans-employees-from-smoking-electronic-cigarettes-at-work-1-2124568

Daily Mail: Safety fears over electronic cigarettes because they are ‘unclean’ and unregulated: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2129550/Safety-fears-electronic-cigarettes-unclean-unregulated.html

And a couple pieces about the psychological impact candy cigarettes. Consider, though, that the research on candy cigarettes is looking explicitly at the impact on children, not adults.

Klein JD, Forehand B, Oliveri J, Patterson CJ, Kupersmidt JB, Strecher V. Candy cigarettes: do they encourage children’s smoking? Pediatrics. 1992 Jan;89(1):27-31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1728016

Klein JD, Clair SS. Do candy cigarettes encourage young people to smoke? BMJ. 2000 Aug 5;321(7257):362-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10926600

Klein JD, Thomas RK, Sutter EJ. History of childhood candy cigarette use is associated with tobacco smoking by adults. Prev Med. 2007 Jul;45(1):26-30. Epub 2007 Apr 24. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17532370

Back to the American Cancer Society, and the issue of minors having access to e-cigs.

Anti-THR Lies and related topics: Who leads the fight against banning e-cigarette sales to minors? Guess again: it is the American Cancer Society: http://antithrlies.com/2013/04/25/who-leads-the-fight-against-banning-e-cigarette-sales-to-minors/

As with everything surrounding the e-cig controversies, it’s never straightforward, and there are always multiple views with value. This tweet was in response to my Part One blogpost on e-cigs.

The links highlight the work of Dr. Michael Siegel, Professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health.

Dr. Siegel:
“I do not question the need to balance the benefits of enhancing smoking cessation among adult smokers with the costs of youth beginning to use this nicotine-containing product. But show me at least one youth using the product before you call for a ban. This recommendation makes a mockery out of the idea of science-based or evidence-based policy making in tobacco control.”
The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary: American Legacy Foundation Sounds Alarm About Electronic Cigarette Use Among Young People, Calling for a Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes, But Fails to Document a Single Youth Using These Products http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/04/american-legacy-foundation-sounds-alarm.html

In response to:

““While most candy-flavors – such as chocolate, vanilla and peach – were banned in 2009 from cigarettes, flavored tobacco products like cigars, hookah, snus and e-cigarettes persist in more than 45 flavors and are still legally on the market,” said Andrea Villanti, PhD, MPH, CHES, Research Investigator for Legacy. “These products can be just as appealing to young people as flavored cigarettes, offering a product appearing to be more like candy to those most at-risk of becoming lifelong tobacco users,” she added.”
FDA Should Extend Ban on Flavors to Other Products to Protect Young People, April 3, 2013 http://legacyforhealth.org/newsroom/press-releases/flavored-tobacco-continues-to-play-a-role-in-tobacco-use-among-young-adults

“Overall, 18.5% of tobacco users report using flavored products, and dual use of menthol and flavored product use ranged from 1% (nicotine products) to 72% (chewing tobacco). In a multivariable model controlling for menthol use, younger adults were more likely to use flavored tobacco products (OR=1.89, 95% CI=1.14, 3.11), and those with a high school education had decreased use of flavored products (OR=0.56; 95% CI=0.32, 0.97). Differences in use may be due to the continued targeted advertising of flavored products to young adults and minorities. Those most likely to use flavored products are also those most at risk of developing established tobacco-use patterns that persist through their lifetime.”
Villanti AC, Richardson A, Vallone DM, Rath JM. Flavored Tobacco Product Use Among U.S. Young Adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 44(4):388-391, April 2013 http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(12)00939-7/abstract

Dr. Siegel:
“But I don’t think most anti-smoking groups or advocates care about the actual evidence. They’ve already made up their minds. Vaping looks too much like smoking. So forget about the fact that not a single nonsmoking youth could be found who has even tried the product. The advocates must continue to follow the party line and warn about the danger of electronic cigarettes as a gateway to nicotine addiction. Never mind that the gateway just doesn’t exist.”
The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary: New Study on Electronic Cigarette Use Among Youth Fails to Find a Single Nonsmoking Youth Who Has Even Tried an Electronic Cigarette: http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-study-on-electronic-cigarette-use.html

In response to:

“E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that look like cigarettes and deliver a nicotine vapor to the user. They are widely advertised as technologically advanced and healthier alternatives to tobacco cigarettes using youth-relevant appeals such as celebrity endorsements, trendy/fashionable imagery, and fruit, candy, and alcohol flavors [2], [3]. E-cigarettes are widely available online and in shopping mall kiosks, which may result in a disproportionate reach to teens, who spend much of their free time online and in shopping malls.”
Grana, Rachel A. Electronic Cigarettes: A New Nicotine Gateway? Journal of Adolescent Health 52(2):135-136, February 2013.
http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(12)00736-7/fulltext
[NOTE: Check out the bibliography]

“Only two participants (< 1%) had previously tried e-cigarettes. Among those who had not tried e-cigarettes, most (67%) had heard of them. Awareness was higher among older and non-Hispanic adolescents. Nearly 1 in 5 (18%) participants were willing to try either a plain or flavored e-cigarette, but willingness to try plain versus flavored varieties did not differ. Smokers were more willing to try any e-cigarette than nonsmokers (74% vs. 13%; OR 10.25, 95% CI 2.88, 36.46). Nonsmokers who had more negative beliefs about the typical smoker were less willing to try e-cigarettes (OR .58, 95% CI .43, .79)."
Pepper JK , Reiter PL , McRee A-L , Cameron LD , Gilkey MB , Brewer NT . Adolescent males' awareness of and willingness to try electronic cigarettes. J Adolesc Health . 2013;52:144–150. http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X(12)00409-0/abstract

Wow. All smart people, working in or from the peer-reviewed literature, but with varying interpretations. For more information about flavors in e-cigs, check out these e-cig review and information sites.

Vapor Rater: http://www.vaporrater.com
Vapour Trails: http://www.vapourtrails.tv

The first thing I saw that actually sparked a moment of interest in e-cigs for me personally was the idea that you can make your own at home. I’m not a smoker, but I’m also not much of a drinker. I am, however, addicted to canning, pickling, and otherwise preserving produce and home goods. I go so far as to even make my own fruit shrubs as beverage mixes for my friends who do drink, even though I don’t partake. If you could convince me that e-cigs were safe and healthy and all that, you could tempt me to want to learn how to mix the vaping liquid for my friends, even if I don’t use it myself.

RTS Vapes: Lab Safety when Mixing Liquid Nicotine: http://rtsvapes.blogspot.com/2012/09/lab-safety-when-mixing-liquid-nicotine.html

A brief detour down memory lane. When I was in high school I remember vividly a change in what and who was “cool” between sophomore and junior years. During freshman and sophomore years, the cool kids, the influencers, were those who snuck off into corners to make out and have sex. In junior and senior years it was no longer sex but drugs that was cool, and a lot of the smartest kids in school adopted drugs, creating and using intellect, technology, and creativity to explore this “counter-culture” area. In chemistry class, one of the top students used the chem lab to gold-plate a baby marijuana leaf into a pickle fork. A pair of National Merit Scholars broke into the high school academic system to do a statistical analysis comparing the IQs of known street drug users compared to street drug ‘virgins’ among the student population, with the drug users ‘proven’ to have the highest IQs. There was a perception that drugs weren’t just cool, but smart. I don’t know, but it would not surprise me to find that high school students today are also inquisitive and creative with exploring new technologies that allow them to buck the status quo. It is with that in mind that I read these next tweets.


Portable Vaporizer – Marijuana Pot Herbal Portable Vaporizers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs6AjEXcOok

For the record, I am a supporter of the legalization of marijuana, and it makes sense that if e-cigs are safer to want to extend those health benefits to persons who smoke anything recreationally. I’m not opposed to e-cigs, either, but do think there are benefits to information, education, and appropriate legislation. There are really two main questions. One, this is a new technology, and we don’t know that much about it. E-cigs were invented in 2004, and there simply hasn’t been time to fully research the technical, physical, and psychological health impacts of use. That is a problem for most new and emerging technologies, and we don’t have a solution for that at this point. The other main question is really about minors. So, the argument from Dr. Siegel is that youth don’t use e-cigs. Are you sure?

An Argument Against Science 2.0

Quite a number of extremely intelligent, insightful, and innovative scientists have been discussing the idea of open science and/or “Science 2.0″, generally meaning a more social approach to the practice of science. This has been going on for a number of years now. Here is a snapshot of the terms used in the conversation in 2009.

Science 2.0, Take 1

Here is a snapshot of the terms used in the conversation in 2012.

Science 2.0, Take 2

The conversation has only grown and expanded and morphed over those years, with ever increasing focus on collaboration, transparency, and sharing. Many at NIH are supporting the core ideas, many other leading funding agencies, many science thought-leaders and influential names in science. There has been this increasing PUSH for scientists, clinicians, clinical researchers, and academics to engage in online spaces and social media; to become more open and involved in conversations in public spaces and with the public.

A big part of the conversation has been around how do we, the academics / scientists / thought leaders etc., who are already engaged in this space and who deeply understand the value of it persuade our colleagues to join us in these spaces and activities? The arguments in favor of it are many.

– More citations to your work.
– Increased accuracy, especially better error checking, data cleaning, and fact checking before publication.
– Books born as blogs seem to be more likely to win awards.
– You discover more potential research collaborators.
– More potential research collaborators discover you.
– You have an automatic verifiable date-stamp on your statements and concepts, preventing or reducing intellectual theft.
– Access to more and different data.
– More rapid turnover of concepts.
– More rapid response to research information needs.
– Increased pace of scientific discovery.
– Citizen science.
– Increased productivity.
– Research that has never before been possible.
– You’ll recruit more research subjects, or more patients.
– … and much much more.

(Yes, I need later to pull in some citations in support of this list.)

However, gushing at other scientists about how wonderful we’ve found the online ocean doesn’t seem to be making big waves. If anything, for every few who join, many more are afraid to dip their toe in what might be cold water on what is perceived as a rocky shore.

Upper Peninsula - Vacation 2009

Recently, I’ve been having a number of conversations about why it is so inexplicably difficult to convince scientists to engage in social media. This is a conversation that seems to be happening with increasing frequency, in the healthcare social media community as well as in the open science community. Last month, I was talking with Andrew Maynard about this. The context was that a team I’m working with has yet another effort underway to attempt to build a broader engagement with social media among our peers on campus and in the region. Andrew is, on our campus and beyond, a leading voice arguing in favor of engaging with social media. He is also one of the sweetest folk I’ve ever met, genuinely interested and enthusiastic at the same time that he applies a keen intelligence to problem-solving.

I expected him to be as enthusiastic as he usually is about the project I wanted to describe. Instead, he played devil’s advocate. As a proponent of social media who is in a leading position in the University, his conversations about it tend to be less of “preaching to the choir” and more along the lines of serious academic debate. So for every reason I could provide to try to persuade folk how useful this could be for them, he had a counter-argument from those debates.

More likely to win an award with your book? I don’t need an award, I just need tenure.

Increased accuracy of your research? I don’t need it to be perfect, I just need it to be published.

More credibility with the public? Less credibility with my tenure committee or my peers in this department.

Etcetera.

The gist of it was that social media is more likely to appeal and benefit those who are working above and beyond the norm, those who want to make a difference in the lives of the many, those who want to change the world for the better.

I went away and thought very hard about this. Discussed it with my team. Discussed it with others. Brought it up in Twitter chats. And now I want to get others thinking and talking about it. Maybe we shouldn’t be trying to convince all of our peers about the wonders of social media and online collaboration.

Perhaps “Science 2.0″ or social science really isn’t appropriate for all scientists. Or all doctors. Perhaps “Science 2.0″ is best for those who want to make a difference in the world, a difference in someone’s life, who want to foster change, who want to achieve renown, who want to give back to the community, who want to partner or collaborate with others, who want to share their excitement and enthusiasm for science. Maybe open science is really only for the leaders and the best.

What do you think?

You Can Help! Crowdsourcing Disaster Planning & Response Resources for #SMEM

Translate-a-Bowl

I can’t tell you how EXCITED I am about this project! Disaster and crisis response planning is one of my, well, hobby isn’t the right word, so let’s say special areas of interest. I like languages, and I love accessibility. I love advocacy and doing-good-for-others projects and activities. You all know how engaged I am with social media. I go giddy over citizen science and crowdsourcing and collaboration technologies. Then, riding the bus to work a couple days ago, I was chatting with Dave Malicke from Open Michigan, and he mentioned they are (wait for it):
CROWDSOURCING
TRANSLATION
of a video series in YOUTUBE
developed as part of a global health COLLABORATION
on DISASTER management and response and EMERGENCY planning!!

Open Michigan: Emergency Planning Lecture Videos -HEALTH Alliance: Captions

Now, really, how could I not be excited?

Even better, they are kicking off with a grand event combining both a real life and virtual meet-up (with FOOD for the face-to-face part). They are calling this the Translate-a-Bowl, and it starts today and runs through the weekend. But don’t stop if you are busy all of Superbowl weekend, because the need for translators and proofing will continue until it is all done!

I am remembering when the tsunami hit Japan, and people had found emergency hospital evacuation procedures, and needed them urgently translated RUSH into Japanese. These videos were developed for East Africa in collaboration with a group of African and American universities. It is really an impressive collaboration. If you can’t help, the project is still fascinating, especially for how it is organization and developed. If you know English and any other language, take a further look.

“Our priority languages are French, Portuguese (Brazil), Spanish, and Swahili, but we encourage all languages. (We have computer-generated translations in those 4, plus 31 others.)”

About the project:
Help us translate educational videos about microbiology and disaster management from Michigan, Ghana, and East Africa: https://open.umich.edu/blog/2013/01/28/help-us-translate-health-oer-videos/

Register for the Bowl:

Translate-A-Bowl:
https://sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/translate-a-bowl-mmxiii/

Here is the playlist of the disaster management videos:


Emergency Planning Lecture Videos -HEALTH Alliance: Captions: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJhG_d-Sp_JFQsyGwLFjr6ojSqWbhVTaU

Remember, they are also doing other topics, like microbiology, it is just that I am so excited about the disaster videos.

Heard Whilst Disabled #heardwhilstdisabled

I know, I just did a hashtags post. This is special. Just read them, OK? Pay particular attention to the posts by folks with “Invisible Disabilities.” See if you can tell which ones those are.