“Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair.”Dhar Mann, Entrepreneur and Filmmaker
In my news post last Saturday, I featured an article on YouTube’s effort to partner with several health systems around the country to provide credible, authoritative information on health care to combat the massive disinformation prevalent on the Internet today.
That article got me thinking about how one goes about identifying trusted health care resources online and how best to answer a question that I often get: “what resources do you use in your work?”
The best advice I can offer on how to identify trusted resources for health care information online, and that I use myself is to follow the guidelines from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Their factsheet outlines twelve questions to ask yourself when evaluating a website that posts health care information:
- Who runs the website?
- Who pays for the website?
- What is the website’s purpose?
- What is the original source of the website’s information?
- How does the website document the evidence supporting its information?
- Who reviewed the information before the owner posted it on the website?
- How current is the information on the website?
- How does the website owner choose links to other sites?
- What information about users does the website collect, and why?
- How does the website manage interactions with users?
- How can you verify the accuracy of the information you receive via email?
- How does the U.S. federal government protect consumers from false or misleading health claims posted on the internet?
As for the second question, I’ve made a conscious decision to use social media only for finding, curating, and reporting on reliable, credible information on health care technology. I don’t use my social media presence to share personal information, political discourse or opinions, or as a platform to attack others online.
A comprehensive list of the resources that I’ve built up over the years is way beyond the scope of a blog post. But here are some of the best resources I use regularly and recommend highly if you want to source the best information on health care technology or care delivery.
News Aggregators – I use two news aggregators daily: Flipboard and Apple News+. The AI algorithms built into these two do the best job in seeing what I read regularly and recommending other articles that might be of interest based on my reading preferences.
Health care news reporting – My go-to sources for quality health care news are STAT (Helen Branswell’s ongoing reporting on the COVID crisis has been the best in the business, in my opinion.); Business Insider Healthcare; Mobihealthnews for all the news on digital health; AuntMinnie for all things medical imaging; and the BBC Health news to get an international perspective on what’s going on in health care.
Future health care – One of the fun parts of my work is to look out into the future and try and predict what health care will look like 10-15 years from today. To help me formulate what I should be looking at in this space, I rely upon The Medical Futurist Institute (Dr. Bertalan Mesko and his team are outstanding, and I’m a Patreon supporter of their work); The Exponential Medicine Conference (Dr. Daniel Kraft is the Medical Director and worth following in his own right); and Futureloop, a newsletter developed by Dr. Peter Diamandis (another physician worth following).
Health care research companies – My go-to resource in this area has been and continues to be CB Insights. The quality of their research is outstanding. And their analysts in health care are among the best around the industry. They are a subscription service, and the cost is pretty steep. My former employer had a subscription, and I used it extensively in my research and writing. I will miss having access to their complete portfolio of services, but many of their briefings are free and available to anyone without a subscription.
Podcasts on health care – A treasure-trove of good listening available online. First on my list is Sg2 Perspectives (OK, I know I’m biased here), where I can continue to learn from my former colleagues and members. My other regular weekly stop is In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt. Great interviews with health care leaders, movers and shakers, and government officials. I’ve long admired the work that Halle Tecco has done in health care. So, when she recently started a new podcast series, The Heart of Healthcare, I immediately added it to my list. My final two regular weekly podcasts are Creating a New Healthcare with Zeev Neuwirth and Fixing Healthcare with Dr. Robert Pearl.
Recommended reading – Earlier this month, I posted an article with my Summer reading recommendations. Here’s a link to that post.
The Twitter-verse – Let’s face it, most of what’s on Twitter is a cesspool of garbage. But what I’ve found after being on Twitter since June 2013 is that with a bit of work (blocking and muting most of the abuse and invective), health care Twitter can be a rewarding investment of my time. First, I’ve been able to “meet” and communicate with health care leaders that I would never have had the opportunity to meet in person. Second, there’s no way that I can read all of the critical health care articles and research that are published weekly/monthly. By following the right physicians, they do the reading and identification for me – a great example of the power of crowdsourcing information in health care. Finally, connections I’ve made on Twitter have carried over to my other social media platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube, and now Clubhouse as well. So, I guess my message here is don’t dismiss Twitter as a potential source of information or contacts. It can work for you if you do it right.
I hope that the suggestions that I’ve made are helpful to you in building up some resources of credible health care information. If you have other recommendations, please drop them in the comments below. I’m always looking for additional sources of good information to add to my growing portfolio. And if you have any suggestions for other topics to cover, drop them in the comments as well.
Thanks for reading!