PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — As the coronavirus has evolved, so too have the methods of treating patients. And that is due in large part to the influence of social media.
“You’re seeing collaborative efforts in real time that are happening across continents,” said Dr. Fred Balzer, an anesthesiologist at Jefferson Hospital.
He believes social media is finally approaching its full potential for being a marketplace of ideas as a result of the global medical emergency that arose from the pandemic.
He got some key insights from a gastroenterologist on the West Coast.
“This guy said, ‘there might be some blood clots here that you might want to look at.’ And all of a sudden people looked at that and, lo and behold, the virus was triggering this thrombotic process within your small blood vessels and that seemed to explain a lot of the scarier manifestations that we see in the severe COVID patients,” he said.
From thrombosis to methods of avoiding the dangers posed by ventilators, COVID-19 brainstorming is being conducted across all social media platforms.
“Twitter is a way to really quickly disseminate new papers online, so that’s the way the medical community alerts people to new information,” said Dr. Lee Fleisher, chair of Penn Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care.
But there is also a lot of misinformation out there, says Dr. Austin Chaing, Jefferson Health’s chief medical social media officer.
“It’s basically all the conspiracy theories that we’ve heard about, like 5G, and the Plandemic documentary that came out that YouTube has been trying to pull from its platform. All the purported treatments for COVID, ways to prevent getting like hot water to alcohol,” Chaing said.