Physician Social Networks Social Media

iRounds by Doximity: Twitter for Physicians

Doximity, a leading online professional physician network, recently announced the launch of iRounds, the first HIPAA-secure forum for doctors. The platform enables members to tap into the collective knowledge and experience of more than 30,000 of their colleagues for consultation on patient cases, emerging medical technologies, new research and best practices.

According to a press release from Doximity, thousands of physicians have already tested iRounds, discussing topics ranging from unusual or difficult cases to clinical uses for new technologies. A number of intriguing patient cases have sparked active discussions-and interesting resolutions-including:

  • A patient who accidentally swallowed a metal bristle from a barbeque grill brush embedded in his food, resulting in a perforated bowel and abdominal pain. The discussion brought forth another doctor who’d seen a similar case. The two now plan to write up and submit their findings for publication as a case series in a medical journal.
  • A case of oddly timed, recurrent hives. Within hours, the doctor who posted the case received detailed feedback and suggestions from a dermatologist, an allergist and several other specialists in determining the source and treating the case.
  • A child with Clostridium difficile colitis (a bad intestinal infection) resistant to standard therapy. A request for help by the treating physician resulted in specific, same-day advice from one of the world’s leading experts in the disease, including discussion of a new experimental treatment protocol involving “bacterial transplantation.”

“With iRounds, I was able to connect directly to and receive rapid feedback from a wide range of specialists and quickly get my patient referred to an appropriate doctor for treatment,” said Dr. Rafael Lugo, MD, who posted photos of a rare tumor as it progressed. “Medicine is very much a team sport and iRounds is changing the way we practice by putting this collective knowledge right at our fingertips. Patients benefit significantly more from the skill and experience of 30,000 doctors, as opposed to just one.”

Using iRounds, member physicians can learn more about the background, practice location, credentials, clinical expertise and research interests of participating colleagues, simply by clicking to view their Doximity profile. All iRounds discussions are conducted in a private and secure environment with members-only access for verified Doximity physicians and medical students.

“iRounds enables doctors to consult with the largest online community of their peers on matters of real clinical and practical significance-specific patient cases, referrals, collaboration on research,” said Jeff Tangney, Doximity founder and CEO. “Most physicians don’t have access to this kind of interaction after their residencies. iRounds fills the gap as physicians move on to private and hospital practice and no longer have the opportunity to participate in journal clubs and other collective clinical discussion.”

iRounds is part of the Doximity platform, the largest professional network for physicians on the web where more than 5 percent of U.S. physicians are now members. Doximity provides a HIPAA-secure communication platform for doctors to connect and collaborate with their peers both online and with smartphone apps for iPhone and Android devices.

Recently, FierceHealthIT had an interesting article on the topic of iRounds which included an interview with Dr. Bryan Vartabedian who has been using the platform since the early Beta Testing. Dr. Vartabedian is an early adopter of social media and one of my favorite bloggers. Based on his comments in the story, he sees positive applications for this communications platform. You can access that article by clicking on this link.

For more information about the Doximity iRounds forum, visit www.doximity.com.

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