Social Media is a Suitcase Too Heavy for Clinicians To Carry

November 2011

I’m uncertain about the potential utility of current social media tools in health, and I suspect I’m not alone. I’ve been struggling for a term to help me articulate my feelings towards the use of the terms “social media” in the context of “health” and “healthcare” for a while. Struggling to the point where I’d avoid conversations for fear of the inevitable twitch in my left eye as I recognise, yet again, that I simply can’t compartmentalise the concepts as well as I’d like. This is despite malignant curiosity leading me to use most major new communication and technology trends around since

Machine Stops

The Machine Stops – Exactly how doomed are we?

March 2010

“Man, the flower of all flesh, the noblest of all creatures visible, man who had once made god in his own image, and had mirrored his strength on the constellations, beautiful naked man was dying, strangled by the garments he had woven.”

“Truly the garment had seemed heavenly at first, shot with colors of colours of culture, sewn with the threads of self-denial. And heavenly it had been so long as man could shed it at will and live by the essence that is his sould, and the essence, equally divine, that is his body.”


Yammer Communities – A great opportunity for doctors, if done right.

February 2010

A great opportunity for doctors has just been announced.
Yammer will be expanding their microblogging platform to groups whose member’s email have different domain names. This means the networks are no longer limited to formal organisations, and can now emerge within informal communities. It is still a “closed” network in the sense that the content is not indexed by search engines, so that the community can communicate privately amongst each other.
Clinicians will stand to benefit greatly from a decent sized, real-time community for peer support. Imagine having the ability to tap into the combined experience and intellect of thousands of clinicians at the point of care.

Shaffi Mather

Stop Bribery and Prevent Corruption –

November 2009

Pick a root cause of much of India’s beaurocratic and economic pain, and wrap a simple business model around providing a solution to it.

What you get is a company providing anti-corruption services to people experiencing roadblocks in their dealings with bribery ridden government departments.

Signal to noise

Increasing signal-to-noise on H1N1/Swine flu

April 2009

With social media gaining traction since SARS (2003) and Avian H5N1 (2006), it will be interesting to see what role it might now play as a media tool in the current pandemic du jour. The benefits of social media are clear, namely speed of communication, and monitoring sentiment. The cost in accuracy is not insignficant, and it will be simply a matter of how to best use it. Can new micro media services like twitter add anything useful? Will good information float well enough above the bad to make it worthwhile keeping track of?

Back to the future

Hello to my great great grandchildren.

November 2008

Whilst my body is long gone, I’m happy to still have the opportunity to talk to you like this, in a way my great great grandparents unfortunately didn’t have to speak to me. Little did they envision the opportunities we now possess to have a permanent record of our every online conversation built into a relatively accurate personality construct that can speak to you in the way that I’m speaking to you now.


Digital war on poverty

October 2008

Here’s a link to a short article by Jeffrey Sachs on the digital war on poverty.

Its interesting to see market forces accomplishing a feat NGOs would be unable to (assuming they had wanted to). As of 2007 over 50% of the world’s population now use mobile phones. It took 20 years to reach 1 billion, another 3 years to reach 2 billion, and the 3rd billion took just 2 years. Mobile phones and their future capacity for information distribution are making their way into the hands of the world’s least resourced.