Do people turn to Twitter for CPR information?

Twitter is a widely employed social website that serves for interaction within masses and people share their personal opinions, feelings and activities like having dinner or walking alone in rain or being divorced but over the past few years, Twitter is being used for much meliorate purposes. People are turning towards finding and posting information about certain cardinal ailments and health conditions. Researchers have found more than 15,000 tweets or messages on the social website over a month that included information about Resuscitation and Cardiac arrest. It is exciting to find people turning to twitter for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) information and meaningfully discussing it.

Twitter has previously been used by researchers and other organizations for public health matters and it is quickly transforming into educational tool for health care professionals and educationists allowing them to respond to the public queries and finding ways of public education about CPR and other important health issues. Thousands of messages are being circulated already containing specific information about CPR only, taking into account education, research and news events.

The research study’s lead author Raina Merchant who also is a professor at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania stated,

“From a science standpoint, we wanted to know if we can reliably find information on a public health topic, or is (Twitter) just a place where people describe what they ate that day,”

Regarding such outbreaks, “Right now, it’s mostly an educational tool for public health officials or professionals,” said Dr. Gunther Eysenbach, editor and publisher of the Journal of Medical Internet Research and of the University Health Network in Toronto.

The researchers for the study created a Twitter search for key items such as CPR, AED (automated external defibrillators), resuscitation and sudden death. Among the messages circulated regarding cardiac arrest and resuscitation, a few were about specific cardiac events but a large percentage was related to methods of performing CPR and AED.

“I think the pilot (study) illustrated for us that there is an opportunity to potentially provide research and information for people in real time about cardiac arrest and resuscitation,” Said Merchant.

She also figured,
“I can imagine in the future we will see systems that would automatically respond to tweets of individual users. Twitter is a really powerful tool, and we’re just beginning to understand its abilities. “People should join the conversation and tweet. And healthcare providers should really be part of that conversation,”

There are about 500 million accounts on twitter and there is a need of developing a sound method by which the tweets can be filtered allowing the healthcare practitioners to respond to peoples’ question in quick time thus opening new and convenient ways of public education.