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Med 2.0: Canadian research at the fore

Results from new Canadian research in various innovative areas dominated many sessions at the Medicine 2.0: World Congress on Social Media, Mobile Apps, Internet/Web 2.0 held recently in Maui, Hawaii.

The meeting, with 220 delegates from 24 countries, was the second iteration of this year’s conference — and the eighth overall since its launch in 2008. An earlier 2014 version was held in Malaga, Spain, with a European focus.

The brainchild of University of Toronto associate professor Dr. Gunther Eysenbach, from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation and senior scientist at the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, the conference profiles academic research using new media and digital tools in health care.

“Medicine 2.0 is the science of applying technology for next generation medicine,” said Eysenbach in his introduction.

The Maui meeting had a strong Canadian contingent and featured presentations on a number of projects, including:

  • the first analysis of results from the comprehensive web-based dissemination strategy for the Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines presented by Drs. Catherine Yu and Calvin Ke, University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia, respectively
  • research from a Toronto-based team discussing “Loop” — a new networking tool designed to assist collaborative care between patients and health care providers at the Hospital for Sick Children and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto.
  • use of a wiki to develop electronic order sets for emergency physicians in a computer physician order entry system, by Dr. Patrick Archambault from Université Laval
  • animated comics used to teach medical students about empathy, presented by Yu; a tweet from this session quoting a medical student interviewed by Yu – “There is no billing code for empathy” – was one of the most retweeted comments from the conference
  • evaluation of a YouTube video that was developed at the IWK Health Centre, Halifax, and designed to provide parents with information to help reduce pain and anxiety related to receiving injections, presented by Dr. Christine Chambers
  • a tutorial on how to help seniors make better use of mobile apps, by Dr. Kelly Grindrod (PharmD), from the school of pharmacy at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON
  • data from the Canadian Medical Association Member e-Panel showing poor uptake in the professional use of social media tools and platforms by Canadian physicians

The conference also featured plenary presentations on a wide range of topics, including using Internet search data for health care purposes, bridging the digital divide and just how widely Wikipedia is used by medical students and physicians for medical information.

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