Radiology in 60 Seconds: Welcome to TikTok
At first it was YouTube. Then SnapChat. Now TikTok is the latest platform to open a new avenue for social networking for radiology.
Radiologists may only make up a small fraction of the registered TikTok user so far, but according to a team at New York University’s Langone Health, the video-sharing service has given radiology providers a unique opportunity to create bespoke content and interact with non-specialists Medical staff.
“Our results describe an important and timely opportunity for radiologists to take advantage of this popular platform at an early stage to generate clinically oriented content, engage professionally and discuss current topics,” said the team, led by Dr. Vinay Prabhu, Abdominal Imaging Specialist at NYU Langone, MRS.
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In fact, the team said that as the fastest growing social media network in the world, TikTok has tremendous potential with some individual accounts reaching as high as 90,000 followers and 1,000,000 video games. Prabhu’s team published its findings in the March-April issue of Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology.
Given the specific digital nature of TikTok, it might be the best social media out there for radiology to date.
“Content can be easily edited and overlaid with music, text and other special effects without the need for technological experience,” the team explained. “These functions can prove to be particularly attractive in the field of radiology, as images and video clips must be clearly displayed and annotated.”
Social media is nothing new in radiology. Providers have been using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram for years. However, TikTok has been slow to catch on since it launched in 2017. As a result, Prabhu’s team set out to evaluate radiological content on the platform and identify areas for potential engagement.
To learn more, the team collected 284 radiological posts published since TikTok was launched. They found that 187 were from individual users – 81 percent were non-physicians and 5 percent were radiologists.
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Your analysis has shed light on how radiologists – doctors and non-doctors – are already using this social media platform. In total, the 284 contributions averaged 1,520 games, 60 likes and two comments.
In addition, most of the jobs that radiologists did (65 percent) were clinical, and 88 percent of those were imaging cases. According to the modality, 45 percent were CT-related, 30 percent X-ray-related, 15 percent MRI-related and 3 percent related to fluoroscopy, ultrasound and mixed imaging modalities, respectively. COVID-19 was also the topic for 38 percent of the posts.
Based on their assessment, the team also found that 65 percent of the positions were work-related, 24 percent clinical, 11 percent personal, and 1 percent promotional. Overall, work-related positions showed that radiology providers and employees enjoyed their work or were proud of their facilities and showed frustrations. Clinical sites, the team said, were mostly educational or provided patient perspectives or educational information. Radiologists and their colleagues showed their more relaxed sides through humor or music in the personal contributions.
Given their results, more radiologists should consider signing up for TikTok and using it regularly.
“With its large number of non-doctors, TikTok offers radiologists the unique opportunity to safely involve non-medical radiology staff and thus actively enables interdisciplinary discussion in times of social distance, as these groups post videos and play videos, comment on and like videos”, they said. “We suggest that more radiologists use this medium for clinical content creation, professional engagement, and timely discussion.”