The Connected Health Conference is the premier international conference and expo for the exchange of research, evidence, ideas, innovations, and opportunities in connected health. This year’s event was hosted by the Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHA). Its agenda was full of speeches and discussions by healthcare stakeholder leaders sharing of new research, actionable knowledge such as best practices, lessons learned, and conclusive case studies, and most importantly voicing the future direction. As with formerly known as mHealth Summit, the primary attraction was the exhibit floor with health IT vendors showcasing their products and platforms, but this time it has almost all vendors backing up demonstration with sales and partnerships – which tells how Connected Health industry has matured over the years.
As with all conference, there was also virtual #Connect2Health conference simultaneously occurring in the Twitter with the community sharing event information and media in the real time, enthusiasts disseminating lessons learnt, and advocacy groups channeling their voices. Scraawl analytics of 4378 tweets collected during the conference (Dec 2-15, 2016) throw insights into what was being discussed in the virtual #Connect2Health, the sub communities and their topics of discussion etc. The primary audience of this analysis is the conference organizers @PCHAlliance @JohnSharp and various #HCLDR and advocacy group leaders trying to bring a change to healthcare industry.
Topics of Discussion
Topics are patterns of word use within and across tweets. Examining these tweets reveal the theme of the discussion. The top five topics of discussion extracted by scraawl (based on highest probability of occurrence of the pattern) are:
- Key Challenges: The top topic of discussion was centered on USAID’s tweet on funding mechanism for interoperable and scalable #digitalhealth systems #Connect2Health. While it may seem ominous if Connected Health conference is turning out to be search for funding, but deeper look at all tweets reveal a pattern of announcement of interoperable and scalable solutions and initiatives, policy information, panel discussing policies challenges, or principles of digital health. After all that’s what tweeting during a conference is all about – lightning dissemination of important piece of information that is compounded with retweets. But analysis reveals tweets about connected health challenges such as – “interoperability”, “scalability”, “principled design of digital health”, or “digital health policy” resonate with #ConnectedHealth audience more than others.
- Meet Up: The second topic discussion was centered on doing something at the conference like @CareWire_News asking attendees to text to win an apple watch, or meeting for lunch. So it looks like #Connect2Health tweets were used as a form of messaging or communicating about meeting event. This is a result of normal networking behavior of any conference.
- Beyond Data: The third topic of discussion was centered on tools converting data to decision within the context of precision medicine. The underlying motivation of this pattern seems to suggest virtual attendees are interested to know what’s beyond availability of data – can we have data-driven decision-making? Is data reliable?
- Impact and Adoption: The fourth is about impact of health IT solutions such as VR technology or precision medicine initiatives on the market. While the tweets show positive sentiments and optimism about these solutions, the topic also includes tweets that raise adoption concerns about these solutions. That means virtual attendees, in general, would love to hear of, or spread information next generation solutions while expressing skepticism about them.
- Thank you: The fifth was about conference itself – how great it was and how PCHA is combining operations with WLSA. These tweets are results of normal behavior of attendees at the conclusion of any conference.
The topic extraction and analysis reveal behavior of virtual attendees – their interest and what they tweet and retweet though they may be attending only one or no session at any given time. It also gives indicators to @PCHAlliance on what to address in the future Connected Health conference in order to generate further virtual participation.
Most popular media
Tweeting is a great way of sharing about an event in real-time. Also media itself draws lots of retweets and thus impressions. So analyzing the media, we find:
- The most popular media is about PCHA’s poster on “Majority of respondents uses multiple connected health tools” and “How hospitals currently use connected health technologies” – 24 times they were tweeted and retweeted.
Tied with the most popular media is all about #pinksocks. Who would have guessed that!
- The second most popular media was about Dr. Joe Kvedar (@jkvedar) receiving Digital Health Innovation award – congratulations! This was tweeted and retweeted 20 times
- Tweets about Connected Health Mobile App is the third most popular – 18 times
For us, the most intriguing and popular media shared were “guidelines for reporting health interventions using mobile phones” by @pgnagy (9 times), “study shows u trust your doc more when wearing a stethoscope” by @BHINAZ16, and “10 Can’t-Miss Insights from Day One of #Connect2Health” by @PCHAlliance
Everyone who tweeted with #Connect2Health is part of the largest community – 491 users( and hashtags). But within this large community, there are 46 sub communities who tweet and re-tweet, and in those tweets, they also mention users who may or may not even tweet.
Here are the top 5 sub communities and what do they talk about:
- Digital Health and Pink Socks: The first one is @pgnagy @nickisnpdx @healthythinker @alabriqu @mrgcohen and @HealthData4All and others tweeting about #DigitalHealth and #pinksocks. This is a digital health advocacy group promoting patient engagement. Keep up the great movement!! The most re-tweeted and liked tweet essentially tells how the group works.
The community size is 160, which includes users who tweeted, users and hashtags that were mentioned. The top users of the two most mentioned hashtags analyzed from Scraawl analytics are:
- Health Data: @Lygeia @healthblawg @janoldenburg @pjmachado @vitalitics @SterlingHIT and others tweeting with #Health and #Data, with community size of 153 users and hashtags. Most of the tweets revolved around two themes – volume of data will be so large that they need to be actionable for meaningful use, and privacy of the data. It will not be surprising to analyze and find that this sub community is the primary driver of Beyond Data topic described earlier. The most re-tweeted tweet from this group is:
- Healthcare and GDHF16: @RBlount @srab2001 tweeting about #healthcare #iot #bigdata mentioning each other and @kyurheemd @ctorgan @qualcommlife @adampellegrini. This group of 147 users and hashtags are not necessarily driving a particular conversation theme, but it is more tilted towards to sensors and wearables, and mention of @kyurheemd. This group is essentially driven by its leader @RBlount who is associated with 149 users and hashtags – larger than size of the group itself! The fourth sub community is similar to the third and it is driven by @JNJGlobalHealth that has been associated with #gdhf2016 at least 54 times.
- Medication List: The fifth largest sub-community of size 94, was driven by and with mention of @ONC_HealthIT conducting probably the best session with live demo and discussion on #medlist and #healthit.
Social Graph and Influence – Connectedness Matters!
The social media tool is about showing the users who are the top influencers from the tweets of a social and networking event such as Connected Health conference. Scraawl is no different. However, while most tools show influencers by the number of mentions and tweets, scraawl takes a different approach. First it computes degree of connectedness. For example, a user is most connected if he or she has an interaction with every user in the virtual Connected Health user and every hashtag used in the event. From this point of view, the top five connected users are @pchalliance @lalupuslady@rblount @johnsharp and @hcitexpert. Connectedness is different from top users by tweet because one can have few tweets, but in each tweet he or she may establish many connections or interactions. @JNJGlobalHealth is a top user, but not a top connected user. Similarly @healthdata4all is a top connected user, but not a top user during the event.
Connectedness is important because Scraawl uses it to compute the impact ratio of the user in the network based on the connectedness of every user and hashtag that he or she is connected to. That determines the influence of the user. From this point of view, @johnsharp is the second most influential user after @pchalliance. This influence stems from the network of connectedness to top influencers shown below. Similarly, @jkvedar is the 5th most influential user, while he is not even in the top 50 users by tweets. Being a top connected user alone will not make a user influential either. Top connected users @rblount and @hcitexpert are not the top 10 influential users
Similarly (and unfortunately), even though #pinksocks media are tweeted the most and the group with #pinksocks are among the top groups, the #pinksocks is the 10th most influential hashtag in the virtual Connected Health conference because of they are the 8th connected hashtags and because of the following influence network.
Scraawl provides a comprehensive set of navigation and interactive tools to discover the subtleties that you may use to shape conference organization or advocacy messages and to bring about greatest impact on making significant changes to healthcare landscape. Sign up for a free Scraawl account and run your own data analytic report.