Google Alerts Offer Something Extra: Pandemic-related Radiologist-friendly News Resources

Radiology is one of the fastest evolving fields in healthcare, which is ever-changing. To assist with these dynamic changes, Google alerts have come up with a useful tool for experts in imaging that can help them create custom searches best suited for their practice. It is constant assistance that keeps you updated on recent health bulletin and news, as well as research.

This content was published online by doctors at the University of California San Francisco and NYU Langone Health. They used a popular search engine for assessing new content on radiology published online.

However, they also observed that the majority of the content, or news, was given out mainly by the non-radiology press. For example, Yahoo! Finance and NBC. Peer-reviewed research on in-depth content was very rare. Outlets specific to radiology such as Radiology Business and Health Imaging were on the list of the second most commonly used sources of content. The team explained these theoretical details in the Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology report released on October 9, 2020.

Kamran Munawar, MD, a radiologist at the New York University, together with his colleagues wrote, “These findings point out that it is extremely important to stay well-informed and aware of the medical coverage done by both conventional non-radiology lay press and make proactive attempts to expose research and related viewpoints in such forums.” He also added, “This is very important as previous work revealed that the media articles are often sensationalized and it could even omit real facts, which could potentially mislead public.”

The researchers involved in this also noted that these alerts are specifically helpful for practitioners who want to be informed of the newest clinical and practical guidelines related to Covid-19.

To conduct this study, independent raters were involved. They used a typical coding system that classified the source of the content and topic of discussion of the daily links generated for a specific search term. In this case, the term is “radiology.”

Totally, 526 links could be assessed between 1 November 2019 and 30 April 2020. Most of these were developed by ignorant, non-radiology amateur press comprising 68 percent, imaging press comprising 28 percent, university publications of 2 percent, and some professional sites comprising 2 percent.

Usually, 28 percent of the links were discussing market trends, 20 percent dealt in promotional content, 13 percent was dealing in Covid-19, 8 percent was debating AI, and the remaining 5 percent was talking about new equipment or technology.

When it comes to pandemic-related news coverage, most of the stories entailed operational challenges like preparing imaging suites, protecting staff, maintaining extra volumes, as well as upcoming financial issues.

The team further revealed that approximately 20 articles featured RSNA 2019 Annual Meeting and related topics. Most of the content was from the non-radiology press, which includes outlets talking notice of these imaging meetings and research.

The authors of the study said, “New radiology-related media collected from frequently used search engines were mainly provided by conventional non-medical sources and rarely defined peer-reviewed literature. Google Alerts are useful tools for radiologists. They can use it to design their unique searches related to the area of practice and stay ahead of the latest public radiology or even related subspecialty matters, typically during this period when social isolation is the norm in this fast-changing clinical practice.”

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