Time to Comment on the NEW FDA Guidelines for Social Media Use in Healthcare

Draft Guidance for Industry on Internet/Social Media Platforms: Correcting Independent Third-Party Misinformation About Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices; Availability
Draft Guidance for Industry on Internet/Social Media Platforms: Correcting Independent Third-Party Misinformation About Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices; Availability: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/06/18/2014-14221/draft-guidance-for-industry-on-internetsocial-media-platforms-correcting-independent-third-party

The FDA has released new guidelines for how social media is used in healthcare. The University of Michigan had been involved in commenting on the original call for comments on this topic, and emphasized the potential impact of any guidelines on professional medical education and healthcare education more broadly. Those comments are available here

FDA-2009-N-0441 Docket Comments, University of Michigan Public Forum: http://www.slideshare.net/umhealthscienceslibraries/fda2009n0441-docket-comments-university-of-michigan-public-forum

Recent reviewers commenting on the new policy are encouraging people to consider these guidelines in the context of FDA actions, such as recent warning letters that explicitly comment upon Facebook “likes.”

FDA Warning Letters: Zarbee's (Facebook "Likes")
FDA: Warning Letters: 2014: Zarbee’s, Inc. 6/27/14: http://www.fda.gov/iceci/enforcementactions/warningletters/2014/ucm403255.htm

Remember, these are not yet cast in stone, as we are in a period of time when it is still possible to file comments on the docket for the guidelines. How could this impact on your work? How you teach students? Clinical trial recruitment? How you connect with patients, or patients connect with you? What about the impact on uses of social media for shaping future policy and grant funding? Even if you are not currently using social media, what about the future and how it might be used?

You can read more, find more links, and information on how to comment at this blogpost by THL Emerging Technologies Informationist, Patricia Anderson.

FDA On Social Media: Time to Pay Attention, Take Two http://etechlib.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/fda-on-social-media-time-to-pay-attention-take-two/

Science Games on Twitter — Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of January 27, 2014)

Games? On Twitter? Oh, my, yes. And the games, while quite entertaining, also foster serious purposes, from engagement in educational outcomes and flipping the classroom to efforts to reimagine the name of peer-review and professional publication. Here are a few examples (#GreenGlam, #SixWordPeerReview, and #PrincessBrideScience), showing beauty, humor, fun, wit, and some rather insightful thoughts.


I was struck by the creativity of the #GreenGlam project from the Jahren Lab at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. From what I’ve been able to piece together, it seems that #GreenGlam started life as a “gamification” of a learning exercise for the students there. Luckily for the rest of us, it didn’t stop there, but garnered views, pictures, tweets, and engagement from a broader community. I can easily imagine using this concept to assign med students to locate Creative Common pathology images to share meeting specific guidelines, for example. Or images to support health literacy or public health outreach. Best infographic on [X] topics. What do you imagine? Here are some lovely selections from the students in Hawai’i to counterbalance the extreme cold we have here this week.

Continue reading

Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): Beyond the Microbiome (Week of July 29, 2013)

I’ve been blogging elsewhere about microbiome research, and collecting a ridiculous number of links and articles about it. I’ve been lucky enough to have long conversations with some of our faculty who are publishing in this area. This week one of the faculty asked me to proofread a chapter they are writing about the microbiome, which was a great treat for me. Beautifully written, engaging and educational, I’m really looking forward to seeing it in print.

Midway through the process of writing about the microbiome, the faculty member was asked to include the virome. Oh. Well, let’s mix things up a bit, shall we? By the time I saw the draft, the mycobiome had also been added in. A brief ‘glossary’ for those not currently working in this space. Also note that because of the lack of a true glossary for some of these terms, I am intuiting definitions from a scan of the writings using the term. In other words, doing the best I can, but part of this is sort of made up*, even though the terms exist and are being used. While we don’t have enough for an alphabet book, there were enough that I felt compelled to alphabetize.

Biome = community of living things in a particular space or habitat
Exobiome = a community of living things external to the Earth’s air space
Exposome = measuring and assessing health impacts of environmental exposures external to the individual (beginning in utero)
Genome = genes of an organism
Metabolome = “small-molecule metabolites (such as metabolic intermediates, hormones and other signaling molecules” [Wikipedia]
Microbiome = genomes of a community of microbial or bacterial living things etc.
Mycobiome = genomes of the community of fungi …
Parisitome = genomes of the community of parisites …
Pathobiome = genomes of the pathological components of a microbiome; behaviors and changes in a microbiome that lead it toward a pathological state
Proteome = proteins produced by a genome
Retrovirome = genomes of the community of retroviruses …
Transcriptome = a subset of the genome comprised of the transcripts or various types of RNA fragments from a given cell
Virome = genomes of the community of viruses …
Xenome = genomes of microbiomes involved in xenografts or xenotransplants

And then there are the specific microbiomes for body regions, such as the vaginal biome, oral microbiome, aural microbiome, nasal microbiome, and the skin microbiome. I’m not aware of specialized terms for microbiomes of external locations (hospital, home, school, jungle, waterways, etc.) and other species (canine, feline, various bird species, various rodent species, etc). Most of the other Omes also are studied across species and locations. And there are more.

Here’s a tutorial for an introduction to just the genomics part.

And while this isn’t a tutorial, these are videos from the recent conference on Human Microbiome Science: Vision for the Future. That should give you an overview of that portion.

So let’s take a look via Twitter at some of the other “Ome”s and omics. As you might guess, these are BUSY topics, with formal Twitter chats discussing fine points of methods, sharing articles, conference presentations, news, and general buzz.

Personally, I find this hysterically funny.

* A proper glossary for these types of terms was just brought to my attention by Ian Bosdet.

Is It Time to Quit Honorary Authorship?

"Typewriter," by Simon Child from The Noun Project, CC BY 3.0

Typewriter,” by Simon Child from The Noun Project, CC BY 3.0

A coworker recently sent along an interesting editorial from Science written by Philip Greenland, a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University (and the former editor of Archives of Internal Medicine) and Phil B. Fontanarosa, executive editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association, who argue that “honorary authorship must no longer be tolerated.”

Although Greenland & Fontanarosa distinguish between “coercive authorship” and “gift authorship” – senior staff members imposing on publications and tacking on a well-known name to increase the chance of publication/prestige, respectively – they argue that both behaviors exhibit “fraudulent aspects.” Washington University in St. Louis has actually labeled both types as research misconduct and specifically defined what constitutes each type of honorary authorship.

While some institutions are taking initiatives (Harvard, for example, actually has a workshop developed already on “contributorship” and scholarly attribution), overcoming honorary authorship will have to be a collaboration – harnessing the effort of academic institutions, research scientists, publishers, and funders.

Patients Find Each Other Online To Jump-Start Medical Research

From NPR:

People with extremely rare diseases are often scattered across the world, and any one hospital has a hard time locating enough individuals to conduct meaningful research.

But one woman with an extremely rare heart condition managed to do what many hospitals couldn’t. Katherine Leon connected with enough people online to interest the Mayo Clinic in a research trial.

Read or listen to the complete story on the Shots blog here.

New blog: Mind the Science Gap

I’ve added a new blog from the School of Public Health to our blog roll, Mind the Science Gap.  Check it out–read & comment!

For ten weeks between January and April 2012, Masters of Public Health students from the University of Michigan will each be posting weekly articles as they learn how to translate complex science into something a broad audience can understand and appreciate.

Each week, ten students will take a recent scientific publication or emerging area of scientific interest, and write a post on it that is aimed at a non expert and non technical audience.  As the ten weeks progress, they will be encouraged to develop their own area of focus and their own style.

And they will be evaluated in the most brutal way possible – by the audience they are writing for!  As this is a public initiative, comments and critiques on each post will be encouraged, and author responses expected.