Twitter Talk Surpasses Pulmonary Conference Attendees

OCTOBER 24, 2015
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick
Millennials aren’t the only ones using social media; professionals and the minds behind credible institutions have taken to the websites to spread their news and messages. A recent analysis that will be described at CHEST 2015 in Montréal, Canada found just how prominent Twitter discussions are at pulmonary conferences – including CHEST over the years.

Twitter is an easy way to connect with people all over the world. It also presents the creative challenge of fitting everything you have to say in just 140 characters. Christopher L. Carroll, MD, MS, from the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and colleagues analyzed how much users are talking about certain medical conferences.

The team looked at two years of three major pulmonary and critical care conferences and examined the use of their hashtags: CHEST Annual Meeting (#CHEST2013 and #CHEST2014), American Thoracic Society International Conference (#ATS2013 and #ATS2014), and Society of Critical Care Medicine Congress (#CCC43 and #CCC44). A total of 21,257 people attended the three conferences the first year and 21,064 the second year. The Twitter discussions, however, had a much greater attendance.

“In the first year, #CHEST2013, #ATS2013, and #CCC43 had an average of 1,943 + 800 tweets by 381 + 77 individuals resulting in > 6.6 million views,” the authors found. “In the second year, #CHEST2014, #ATS2014, and #CCC44 had a significantly higher average of 4,646 +1423 tweets by 1126 + 803 individuals results in > 32.6 million views.”

The data was broken down further to reveal during the first year, 71% of the tweets were by healthcare providers and 29% were by industry, advocacy groups, organizations, and journals. The statistics shifted during the second year with 65% belonging to healthcare providers and 34% were made up by the other groups mentioned.

The average number of mentions rose between the years: healthcare providers increased from 91 + 54 to 196 + 207 and the other groups went from 166 + 88 to 371 + 32. The frequency of tweets also significantly increased between the years.

Now there’s only one question left on everyone’s mind: How much will people be tweeting about #CHEST2015? Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @MDMagazine!

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