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Mayo Clinic hosts social media 'boot camp'

The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media hosted a social media "boot camp" Monday and Tuesday to teach health care professionals how to best utilize new tech tools to improve patient care.

The 2015 Mayo Clinic Health Care Summit drew 120 attendees from hospitals in 20 different states and five different countries. The event and several other social media events are held each year by the center so other hospitals can learn how Mayo Clinic uses social media.

Lee Aase , director for the center, said technology has allowed doctors to reach and educate patients in ways that were previously impractical or impossible. He said people can now easily get expert opinions about medical problems directly into their hands.

He said they have also been able to use social media to focus on providing specific, in-depth information to small groups. He gave the example of finding and gathering people with a rare disease into a discussion group. He said they would have previously only been able to find one or two cases in any given county and it would have been impractical to try to reach out to this group.

Aase said Mayo's Center for Social Media is expanding its own use by starting a 6-month test run of Periscope, which is an app that allows people to broadcast live video to mobile devices. The first video on Mayo Clinic's new channel was shot Monday.


He said the streaming program has potential because it is easy for people to access. He compared it to the challenges Mayo faced in 2007 with streaming the press conference following the successful separation of the conjoined Carlsen twins, which drew national attention.

"Now, we can just use a phone to stream it," Aase said.

This week's boot camp activities involved a Social Media Residency on Monday, which focused on teaching the basic of Twitter and Facebook, and case studies on Tuesday that were meant to teach people to expand their social media usage. The programs specifically focused on promoting health care through social media.

More information about the event is available online or at the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media's website: socialmedia.mayoclinic.org .

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