Diabetic Foot Influencers on Twitter: A Cross-sectional Study
Bawa Hospital, Civil Lines, Ludhiana-141001, Punjab, India.
Introduction: Apart from the general usage of media as an effective tool for communication, network building, or branding, its relevance in the medical sector is becoming increasingly pertinent. Diabetic foot is a highly prevalent and serious complication of diabetes, which contributes massively to morbidity, fatality, or amputations worldwide every minute. However, awareness and understanding of proper foot care practices disseminated through massive outreach platforms like Twitter can significantly improve its management and decrease the social, economic, and medical burden due to amputations.
Aim: To identify Twitter influencers discussing diabetic foot.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from March 2022 to July 2022 to characterise the top 38 diabetic foot influencers on Twitter. The influencers were identified using proprietary software, Cronycle (London, UK), which uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate an influencer score based on engagement metrics such as retweets, likes, and views. This score determines the “influence” of a Twitter account within a specific topic of discussion. By leveraging its proprietary algorithm, Cronycle, powered by Right Relevance (a subsidiary), provides a platform to assess the influence of an influencer on a particular topic. It offers a normalised subject score ranging from 10 to 100. The search term “Diabetic foot” was queried within the Cronycle platform, leading to the generation of a dataset that was subsequently analysed using Microsoft Excel.
Results: The analysis identified 38 influencers, consisting of 19 (50%) medical practitioners, 39% diabetic advocates, and 11% researchers. The research productivity could be reflected in the h-index for 17 influencers, which ranged from 1 to 84. Geographically, the majority of the influencers were from the US and UK.
Conclusion: The study identified the credibility of influencers with mass influence on Twitter for diabetic foot. More inclusive participation from healthcare providers of all nationalities, especially from developing countries, can be of paramount importance in raising awareness of diabetic foot among the medical and general population. It can serve as a source of education and potentially lead to a reduction in diabetic foot complications.