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The Power of Technology and
Collaboration in Research
Paul Sufka
Twin Cities Orthopedics, Eagan, MN
Disclosures
None
Collaborate at this
conference
• Highly suggest using the 𝕏
(formerly Twitter) app or website
during this conference
• Use the hashtag #RRW24 on
anything you post related to the
conference
• Post at least once so people can
find you
• In 𝕏, search #RRW24 to find posts
related to this conference
• Connect with people through direct
messages
Overview
• Overview of technology in research and
collaboration
• Use of technology for collaboration by The
COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance (GRA)
• Practical use of technology (actionable advice)
• Future advances, trends, and predictions
My Background in
Rheumatology and
Technology
• 2008 joined Twitter
• 2011 started website/blog paulsufka.com
• 2012-2016 ACR Tweetups
• 2012-2015 The Rheumatology Podcast
• 2014-2015 ACR talks on blogging, tech automation and
productivity
• 2015-2020 RheumJC on Twitter
• 2016-2018 ACR Communications & Marketing
Committee
• 2019-2023 ACR journals social media editor
• 2020-2023 GRA Technology and Marketing Lead
Overview of technology for
collaboration in research
• Direct communications: Email, text messages
• Team discussions: Slack, Teams
• Video communications: Zoom, Teams
• Data sharing: Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive
• Cloud computing: AWS, Azure, Google Cloud
• Social media: 𝕏, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram,
TikTok, YouTube, theMednet, Figure1
• Mass communications: Mailing lists, Webinars/Live
streams, Ads
• Project management: Trello, Asana, etc
Case study: Use of
technology by the GRA
How we used simple
technology to amplify our
efforts
Tech in the GRA
Day 1: Twitter (March 11th)
Twitter replies…
Tech in the GRA
Day 2: Email (March 12th)
5:25am Brisbane time
Tech in the GRA
Day 3: Slack (March 13th)
Tech in the GRA
Slack + Zoom + Email
Organized into multiple teams:
Registry development team
Ethics/IRB team
Consent team
Case collection form team
Pediatric registry team
Teams working on systematic reviews
Patient board
Regional leads
Tech in the GRA
Slack + Zoom + Email + Google Docs
Day 5: IRB Approval!
Tech in the GRA
Maximizing worldwide reach of the registry
Tech:
• URL: rheum-covid.org
• Website platform: WordPress
• Social: @rheum_covid on Twitter
• Mailing list: Mailchimp (most important)
Also:
• Branding
• Collaborating with major rheumatology organizations
worldwide
• Mainstream media
• Press release
Branding
• GRA quickly formed a recognizable brand: worked with designers
from ACR
• People should be able to figure out your goals on social media
Collaborating with hundreds of supporting
organizations
In the media…
(as a tech nerd, it was a lifetime
dream to do an interview with
Wired Magazine 😬)
Even more
Marketing
• Built videos to be posted on
YouTube and shared via social
media and our site…
• Multiple translations of our
registry
Day 13: Launch 3/24/2020
• Email to mailing list
• Press release
• Posts on social media w/ #Covid4Rheum
hashtag
March 12,
2020
🚀
March 24
April 1:
100 cases
April 20:
600 cases
May 15:
>1500 cases
Oct 2022:
>30,000 cases
Cases in the GRA registry over time
The power of global
collaboration:
Over 30,000 cases reported
Practical use of technology
for collaboration
• Use the simplest, most
intuitive tool possible
• Ensure tools are easily
accessible and secure
• Choose user-friendly tools
that enhance collaboration and
productivity
Practical use of technology for
social media
Network effect
V=k⋅n2 (Metcalf’s Law)
𝑉 is the value of the network
k is a constant that represents the value per
connection
n is the number of users in the network
Virality
Content should be easily shareable to encourage
rapid and widespread distribution
1% rule of user-generated content
1% of users create content
9% of users edit, modify, or comment on content
90% of users view content without contributing
Direct and group
communication tools
For broad direct communication
to a group, email lists are best
Building an email list can be an
easy and valuable way to recruit
research volunteers and keep
them updated.
Future directions &
predictions
• Artificial intelligence
• Virtual/augmented reality
• Quantum computing
Artificial intelligence
Machine learning = these are
generally complex algorithms
Current “AI” = Neural networks
• Modeled after human brain
• Training data is weighted by
importance and associations with
outcomes
• Requires massive amounts of
training data, specialized GPUs
Eg: ChatGPT (generative pretrained
transformer), Gemini, LLaMA and
Claude are primarily NLP (natural
language processing) types of AI.
Virtual/augmented reality
• Virtual workspaces/meetings
• Uses in medical education (surgical procedures)
• Data visualization
• Mental health/pain management
instagram.com/zuck
www.apple.com/apple-vision-pro/
Quantum
computing
• Uses qubits (quantum bits)
that can represent both 0 and 1
at the same time, instead of
classic bits (0 or 1)
• A system of n qubits allows for
2^n states to be represented at
once, which allows for massive
parallel processing of data
• Best explanation for this is
how a prism can ”process” all
outcomes of the light spectrum
instantaneously
quantumai.google/quantumcomputer
Summary
• Use 𝕏 and #RRW24 at this and
other ACR conferences
• Many tech tools to collaborate:
simple is often best and worked
well for the GRA
• Social media: value comes from
network effect; your content should
be easily sharable
• AI is going to be in everything
Questions?

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The Power of Technology and Collaboration in Research - Rheumatology Research Workshop 2024 - Denver, CO

  • 1. The Power of Technology and Collaboration in Research Paul Sufka Twin Cities Orthopedics, Eagan, MN
  • 3. Collaborate at this conference • Highly suggest using the 𝕏 (formerly Twitter) app or website during this conference • Use the hashtag #RRW24 on anything you post related to the conference • Post at least once so people can find you • In 𝕏, search #RRW24 to find posts related to this conference • Connect with people through direct messages
  • 4. Overview • Overview of technology in research and collaboration • Use of technology for collaboration by The COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance (GRA) • Practical use of technology (actionable advice) • Future advances, trends, and predictions
  • 5. My Background in Rheumatology and Technology • 2008 joined Twitter • 2011 started website/blog paulsufka.com • 2012-2016 ACR Tweetups • 2012-2015 The Rheumatology Podcast • 2014-2015 ACR talks on blogging, tech automation and productivity • 2015-2020 RheumJC on Twitter • 2016-2018 ACR Communications & Marketing Committee • 2019-2023 ACR journals social media editor • 2020-2023 GRA Technology and Marketing Lead
  • 6. Overview of technology for collaboration in research • Direct communications: Email, text messages • Team discussions: Slack, Teams • Video communications: Zoom, Teams • Data sharing: Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive • Cloud computing: AWS, Azure, Google Cloud • Social media: 𝕏, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, theMednet, Figure1 • Mass communications: Mailing lists, Webinars/Live streams, Ads • Project management: Trello, Asana, etc
  • 7. Case study: Use of technology by the GRA How we used simple technology to amplify our efforts
  • 8. Tech in the GRA Day 1: Twitter (March 11th)
  • 10. Tech in the GRA Day 2: Email (March 12th) 5:25am Brisbane time
  • 11. Tech in the GRA Day 3: Slack (March 13th)
  • 12. Tech in the GRA Slack + Zoom + Email Organized into multiple teams: Registry development team Ethics/IRB team Consent team Case collection form team Pediatric registry team Teams working on systematic reviews Patient board Regional leads
  • 13. Tech in the GRA Slack + Zoom + Email + Google Docs Day 5: IRB Approval!
  • 14. Tech in the GRA Maximizing worldwide reach of the registry Tech: • URL: rheum-covid.org • Website platform: WordPress • Social: @rheum_covid on Twitter • Mailing list: Mailchimp (most important) Also: • Branding • Collaborating with major rheumatology organizations worldwide • Mainstream media • Press release
  • 15. Branding • GRA quickly formed a recognizable brand: worked with designers from ACR • People should be able to figure out your goals on social media
  • 16. Collaborating with hundreds of supporting organizations
  • 17. In the media… (as a tech nerd, it was a lifetime dream to do an interview with Wired Magazine 😬)
  • 18. Even more Marketing • Built videos to be posted on YouTube and shared via social media and our site… • Multiple translations of our registry
  • 19. Day 13: Launch 3/24/2020 • Email to mailing list • Press release • Posts on social media w/ #Covid4Rheum hashtag
  • 20.
  • 21. March 12, 2020 🚀 March 24 April 1: 100 cases April 20: 600 cases May 15: >1500 cases Oct 2022: >30,000 cases Cases in the GRA registry over time
  • 22. The power of global collaboration: Over 30,000 cases reported
  • 23. Practical use of technology for collaboration • Use the simplest, most intuitive tool possible • Ensure tools are easily accessible and secure • Choose user-friendly tools that enhance collaboration and productivity
  • 24. Practical use of technology for social media Network effect V=k⋅n2 (Metcalf’s Law) 𝑉 is the value of the network k is a constant that represents the value per connection n is the number of users in the network Virality Content should be easily shareable to encourage rapid and widespread distribution 1% rule of user-generated content 1% of users create content 9% of users edit, modify, or comment on content 90% of users view content without contributing
  • 25. Direct and group communication tools For broad direct communication to a group, email lists are best Building an email list can be an easy and valuable way to recruit research volunteers and keep them updated.
  • 26. Future directions & predictions • Artificial intelligence • Virtual/augmented reality • Quantum computing
  • 27. Artificial intelligence Machine learning = these are generally complex algorithms Current “AI” = Neural networks • Modeled after human brain • Training data is weighted by importance and associations with outcomes • Requires massive amounts of training data, specialized GPUs Eg: ChatGPT (generative pretrained transformer), Gemini, LLaMA and Claude are primarily NLP (natural language processing) types of AI.
  • 28. Virtual/augmented reality • Virtual workspaces/meetings • Uses in medical education (surgical procedures) • Data visualization • Mental health/pain management instagram.com/zuck www.apple.com/apple-vision-pro/
  • 29. Quantum computing • Uses qubits (quantum bits) that can represent both 0 and 1 at the same time, instead of classic bits (0 or 1) • A system of n qubits allows for 2^n states to be represented at once, which allows for massive parallel processing of data • Best explanation for this is how a prism can ”process” all outcomes of the light spectrum instantaneously quantumai.google/quantumcomputer
  • 30. Summary • Use 𝕏 and #RRW24 at this and other ACR conferences • Many tech tools to collaborate: simple is often best and worked well for the GRA • Social media: value comes from network effect; your content should be easily sharable • AI is going to be in everything

Editor's Notes

  1. `
  2. After completing fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Minnesota,
  3. After completing fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Minnesota,