To characterize the interventional radiology Twitter network by analyzing tweets bearing the #IRad hashtag.
A total of 61,055 consecutive tweets bearing the hashtag #IRad composed by 5,704 Twitter users from January 8, 2015 to October 13, 2017 were analyzed. Twitter analytics, including activity metrics, content analysis, user characteristics, engagement, and network analysis, were obtained with the use of Symplur Signals, a health care social media analytics platform.
The number of tweets bearing the #IRad hashtag, the number of users, and the number of impressions increased by 124%, 76%, and 102%, respectively, over the past year. Regarding tweet content, 4,571 tweets (7.5%) reported new or innovative topics and 4,040 tweets (6.6%) pertained to patients; 19,409 (31.8%) tweets contained at least 1 image and 15,245 tweets (25.0%) included links to websites or journals. Embolization, ablation, and stent placement were commonly discussed topics. Endoscopy, transarterial chemoembolization, uterine artery embolization, and prostate artery embolization discussions were trending more commonly. As for engagement, there were 39,953 retweets (65.4%), 50,452 mentions (82.6%), and 1,704 replies (2.8%). Physicians and patients authored 29,182 (47.8%) and 127 (0.8%) tweets, respectively. Network analysis demonstrated advocate, provider, and media organizations, and physicians as the most active participants using the #IRad hashtag on Twitter.
The use of the #IRad hashtag by interventional radiologists is growing rapidly, with the majority of discussions involving medical professionals and medical-related organizations.