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Taking 100.000 lives per year in the UK

Do you know who is the infamous killer from the title?
AIDS? No
Lung cancer? No
Breast cancer? No
All of them combined? No, its sudden cardiac arrest.

Watch a short documentary about the massive loss of life in the UK due to sudden cardiac arrest and ways that the death rate can be dramatically reduced.

Help the goal to place 500 public access AEDs across the UK.

Learn and perform better quality CPR with our CPR PRO mobile app.
Learn how AEDs work and practice using these lifesaving machines with our AED Trainer app.

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Interview with Lee Aase

Maybe you read the post I recently wrote about a slideshow describing how Mayo Clinic utilizes social media in fantastic ways. This slideshow was created by Lee Aase (@LeeAase), who happens to be manager of Syndication and Social Media for Mayo Clinic (@mayoclinic). Mr. Aase, despite his busy schedule, was kind enough to answer some of my questions that might be of interest to you.

I.K. Please tell me a little bit more about your background and how you ended up manager of Syndication and Social Media for Mayo Clinic?

L.A. I started working in media relations for Mayo Clinic in April 2000, focusing on cardiology, but in 2003 became manager of our media relations team. We have produced syndicated news packages for local TV stations since 2000, and for local radio stations since 2004. In 2005 we converted the mp3 files from the radio program into a podcast series, which became quite popular. That paved the way for us to do longer podcasts, a Facebook fan page and blogs, and eventually hiring another manager for national media relations, while I focus on our syndicated products and the social media platforms.

I.K. What are your duties and responsibilities? Could you maybe describe your regular work day?

L.A. My main duties are to lead the team the produces our syndicated news content and produces tailored, extended content for social media platforms. Our role is not to “do” all the social media, but to be a catalyst to involve others. We provide training for public affairs staff so they can incorporate social media strategies into all of their communications projects, and so that they in turn can offer guidance to other employees. A major part of my job is “evangelism” for our Mayo Clinic social media platforms, both internally and externally.

I.K. I saw from your slideshow that Mayo Clinic utilizes podcasts, blogs, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Would you be so kind to bring closer to us the processes which occur in the background? Just from a practical perspective, how does this function? How many people are working on maintaining all of these services, how independent are they?

L.A. We have a small core team (about 3 people) who facilitate involvement from others in these platforms. For example, someone outside the team who covers the cardiology beat may interview one of our physicians about research coming in a journal, and will do that on a consumer-grade video camera. This will be part of a post on the News Blog, and the video will be used to help journalists better understand the story and to communicate directly with consumers and patients. Our core team does the video editing to ensure quality. In this way, social media isn’t another “silo” but is instead incorporated into all communications, involving our whole department.

I.K. Your latest creation is Sharing Mayo Clinic, a hub to integrate Mayo social media, where your patients, families, friends and employees can share their stories. How do your employees respond to such opportunities? Do you have some numbers, statistics regarding their involvement that you can share with us?

L.A. We have been pleased with the response to Sharing Mayo Clinic, as we have had more than 100 posts and over 600 comments. Traffic built steadily until last month, when one of the featured videos went “viral” and has been viewed more than 2.7 million times on YouTube. This was certainly unexpected but has accelerated growth of the blog, which only launched in late January of this year.

I.K. You are also the Chancellor of Social Media University, which is a post-secondary educational institution dedicated to providing practical, hands-on training in social media to lifelong learners. Sounds really interesting. How did you come up with the idea to start it? How are you happy with the response so far?

L.A. It started as my personal blog, which I used to get practical experience in blogging and social media so I could see how to apply the tools for Mayo. As I began doing presentations about my work, it soon became apparent there was a need — particularly for mid-career professionals — to learn about social media. So I reorganized my blog and re-branded it as SMUG (Social Media University, Global) as a fun, humorous way to learn serious work-related applications for social media tools. By creating a series of curricula covering the major platforms, it lets people work through and learn at their own pace in a logical order, such as Podcasting 101, 102, 103 etc. I’ve been thrilled with the response, with SMUGgles (as we call our student body) from every continent except Antarctica. It’s neat that through social media someone from a small city in Minnesota can interact with people from all over the world.

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Two interviews

Recently I gave two interviews regarding my scientific research of medical blogs and the Health Blogs Observatory.

The first one was conducted by Ed Silverman, a prize-winning journalist who used to maintain the extremely popular Pharmalot blog. He now contributes to the Association of Health Care Journalists blog, where the actual interview was published.

The second one was conduced by Norina Wendy Di Blasio, a member of the editorial staff of Il Pensiero Scientifico Editore, an Italian publisher established in 1946.Among books and journals, this Company publishes a weekly newsletter sent to 11 thousands Italian doctors. Currently they are publishing a series of interviews on Health 2.0. My interview was eventually published in both Italian and English.

Hope you will read the interviews and consider joining our team in conducting scientific research of the medical blogosphere at the Health Blogs Observatory.

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Year in Review 2008: Best in Health by WorldChanging

WorldChangingWorldChanging brings stories of the most important and innovative new tools, models and ideas for building a bright green future. Their articles are just amazing, and for the end of 2008 they decided to rediscovered some of the great events, innovations, interviews and debates that they covered in the previous year. They wrote a series of articles titled Year in Review, which was divided into several categories like best in climate change, energy, and of course best in health, food and society.

Here are the summaries of their best health stories from 2008.

Facebook, Coca-Cola and Medical Aid in Africa

Simon Berry has an idea. Why not persuade Coca-Cola to dedicate a fraction of its distribution network to carry medicines for simple, widespread and life-threatening ailments like diarrhea. Why Coca Cola? Because even the most remote African communities have limitless access to bottles of Coca-Cola.

Making Social Equity an Issue of Public Health

This article discusses the issue of health equity. How is it possible that there is a 28 year difference in life expectancy between the most and least fortunate residents of Glasgow, Scotland?

The Transformative 120: Text Messages Prove a South African HIV Lifeline

Six million South Africans are infected with the HIV, but just one in ten are currently in treatment. Project Masiluleke sends mobile customers texts pointing them to the National AIDS Helpline (0800-012-322) and HIV911 (0860-448-911).

Worldchanging Interview: Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Health Solutions

Interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent at CNN. He is a practicing neurosurgeon and award-winning journalist who is dedicated to helping improve public health and spreading awareness of health-related environmental issues.

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