Thursday, January 29, 2015

CT Risks a Hot Topic on Social Media

A recent article on discussed a trending topic that you might not expect to see on the popular social media site, Twitter. Radiation exposure and CT scans is a concern for patients and this translates to online forums, articles, and even "tweets".  

According to the article, researchers sorted through millions of daily tweets and narrowed it down to those linked with both "CT" and "radiation" to evaluate the opinions and information that was being shared related to radiation risks with CT scans. The research team collected a total of 621 relevant tweets and of those who posted,  90 were physicians,  only 17 being radiologists. Other users included; 30 medical practices, 34 patients, 8 physicists or technologists, and the remaining 395 were categorized as "other" types of users.

Out of the total 621 posts being used in the study, 59% were unfavorable of CT scans, 10% were informative posts discussing strategies in reducing radiation, and only 3% of the posts were favorable of CT scans. Researchers concluded that the imbalance of opinion may be due to the users participating in the CT discussions on Twitter as well as the lack of radiologists engaging in these conversations.  They also stated that radiologists having a more active engagement in social networks could lead to a more balanced representation and lower concerns regarding radiation exposure.

What are your thoughts on how effective social media outlets can be for patients looking for more information? Does social media really influence a patient’s perspective, and how can it create a more positive outcome? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

To learn how Atlantic Medical Imaging now offers CT scans with up to 75% less radiation please visit

Also, to read the full article from Health Imaging please click HERE.


  1. Clearly, technology developments would give BOTH better images (quality) and lesser irradiation (risks). However, a previous question is: "How many CTs are really needed?" In my specialty, Medical Oncology, it is quite frequent doing repeated scans for "response assessment", more as an "investigational method" instead of a clinical decision making tool. Moreover, there are a lot of scans according to "follow-up protocols", whose clinical relevance is very doubtful. Please do not forget image methods are non-sense outside the CLINICAL judgment: doing things is good if thinking is good.

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