Radiology in the era of the Facebook IPO

We just witnessed the biggest IPO in Internet history. Facebook now commands a staggering $105 billion value, instantly giving founder Mark Zuckerberg a net worth of $20 billion. The huge early hype and the ho-hum early results of the IPO in terms of the stock numbers does not dispel the fact that Facebook has redefined the very way in which today’s society stays connected, and shares and consumes information.

This landmark event makes you ponder the interesting implications to radiology. We’ve already started to see how the Facebook generation of radiologists are embracing Web 2.0 and social media not just in their personal lives, but their professional pursuits too.

Radiologists are embracing various tools and platforms available today for online collaboration, learning, and information sharing. They are discovering new, unexplored and sometimes unexpected relationships based on common interests and experience (research, clinical, everyday interest). Yottalook and ARRS Goldminer are used extensively for search. Radiology specific social networking sites, such as RadRounds, allow radiologists to manage their radiology profiles, network, and participate openly in image sharing and case discussions.

As Zuckerberg articulated, “Here’s the thing — our mission isn’t to be a public company. Our mission is to make the world more open and connected.”

LinkedIn, Twitter, and the almighty Facebook are common hangouts (no pun intended) too. Google+ is a favorite amongst photographers, offering higher resolution image display and related tools – and I wonder if more radiologists will throng here too. ACR, RSNA and many others have dedicated channels on YouTube.

What’s also interesting is how variations of these tools are being increasingly used for communications and collaborations within the hospital environment, and how we’re now starting to see some of these tools becoming nicely integrated into the imaging workflow. 

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