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Health Care Social Media in Latin America (#hcsmla), an online group that promotes health care dialogue through social media, hosted a conversation in Twitter on Tuesday, 24 January, where guest presenter David Novillo (@davidnovillo), advisor on knowledge management and organizational learning at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), answered questions about eHealth. 

The eHealth Strategy and Plan of Action (2012-2017) is a priority for 37 Member States in the Americas and a topic of interest for health professionals, such as the ones from #hcsmla, who share the motivation and enthusiasm to collaborate in the implementation. 

During the online conversation, Novillo briefly presented the strategy in 140-character tweets.  He said, “The strategy is by and for the civil society from the first to the last letter; here the technology is just the medium.”

People from various countries in the Region, including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and others, participated in the online conversation held in Twitter, also known as a Tweet chat.  Participants primarily expressed interest in learning how they could help with eHealth in the countries, and how they could contribute ideas and suggestions for projects.    

Luzma Bertolotto (@luzmabertolotto) introduced the #hcsmla group.  She said, “We are a group of health professionals that look to make a change in health in the Americas. We address topics of health 2.0, looking to modernize it and adapt it to social media.”

Elena Sainz (@educadies) and Cecilia Castillo (@dracecicastillo) asked about efforts that look to bring knowledge to people in communities without access to the Internet. Novillo explained that the next Summit of the Americas, to be held April 14-15, will further collaboration among countries to provide information and communication technologies to disperse and disadvantaged populations.

eHealth aims to contribute to the sustainable development of health services in the Member States.  Novillo said, “Institutions, like CEPAL, SELA, the World Bank, and governments, support the document, which responds to the eHealth needs of the Region.”

Marcelo D’Agostino, manager for Knowledge Management and Communication at PAHO, explained that connecting professionals throughout the Americas, such as those from #hcsmla and PAHO, will open possibilities.  Tools such as Tweet chats will help to overcome barriers of time and space, creating a supportive and inclusive workspace that will further collaboration and development. 

D’Agostino supports the use of this innovative medium of communication.  He said, “David Novillo has left a mark in history being the first professional from PAHO to ever participate in a Tweet chat.”

#hcsmla hosts Tweet chats, or virtual conversations, in Twitter every Tuesday at 7pm, moderated by Valentina Jaramillo (@vj_CR) from Colombia.

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