From Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn, it’s no wonder we live in a society consumed by Internet-based social networking. With our fast-paced lifestyles, online networking has become a vital tool in the struggle to stay up-to-date with current news and events in both our personal and professional lives. Social networks are even being used as platforms to help clinicians collaborate to provide better patient care.
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) has developed an updated ASRT Communities. Designed specifically for ASRT’s membership base, this platform allows users to participate in collaborative discussion forums and access a full library of practice-related documents. ASRT is currently divided into 15 chapters, each of which has its own community and forum. Users are able to communicate directly with their peers by posting messages, sharing files and using practice-based resources.
According to a press release from ASRT, Chief Executive Officer Sal Martino, Ed.D., R.T.(R), FASRT, CAE stated:
When you have questions about professional standards, technology or regulations, the Communities allow you to tap into the knowledge and power of the entire ASRT membership. We encourage members to log in daily and make the ASRT Communities a trusted professional circle.
Another new platform, OncoPeer Developer Cloud, has been created by Varian Medical Systems. Developer Cloud is an addition to Varian’s OncoPeer online forum. First introduced last March, Varian’s global online community is now available to Varian customers worldwide. In a press release from Varian, Sukhveer Singh, vice president, Varian Oncology Continuum Solutions discussed how:
OncoPeer is a place for customers to find others who use Varian technology and learn from one another. With the addition of the Developer Cloud, OncoPeer is now a resource for the research community as well.
Through the OncoPeer online application, users are able to participate in discussions, create polls and share files. With the addition of Developer Cloud, development tools have been made readily available, allowing users the ability to develop new processes and treatment techniques.
In the same press release, Corey Zankowski, vice president of products and strategic portfolio management said:
When Varian introduced the TrueBeam platform in 2010, we included Developer Mode, an optional non-clinical development tool for researchers to use in pioneering and prototyping new treatment techniques. Many important advances have been enabled by the use of this and other Varian development tools. Developer Cloud was created to aggregate these developer tools in one place so researchers can easily access what they need. Researchers can also use the OncoPeer forum to engage in discussions with other users of the research tools, to share best practices.
With the help of such social platforms, clinicians have a plethora of tools at their fingertips, which allows them to stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends. Collaboration with colleagues on how to best treat a disease, use advanced features of their equipment and provide support to patients and their families will have a tremendous effect on patient care.