Thursday, May 24, 2012

Online Physician Communities Hold Promise, But Do They Deliver?

Doctors 2.0 and Pharma Marketing News is currently running the "Exploring the Doctor 2.0" survey (find it here), which asks respondents about the impact of New Technologies on healthcare, a subject that is right now being discussed by the "Online Health Care Professional Communities" panel at the Doctors 2.0 & You Conference in Paris, France.

I will be reviewing in more details the results of this survey in the upcoming issue of Pharma Marketing News, but will give you a glimpse of the results of the first question, which asked respondents to rate the importance internet tools and services in improving healthcare. The results are shown in the following chart:

Over 80% of respondents (N=54) said that online professional communities were very useful or essential tools for improving healthcare. Close behind that were mobile apps for professionals and patients. The chart shows a comparison between EU (yellow line) and North American (red line) respondents.

However, According to a QuantiaMD and Care Continuum Alliance 4,033-clinician study, 28% of clinicians access online physician communities. “A notable 92% of physicians are interested in interacting with colleagues in online professional networks to learn from experts and peers, discuss clinical issues and share practice management challenges. However, more than 70% of physicians say patient privacy issues would hold them back from using these networks, and two-thirds are worried about liability issues. Lack of time and issues with compensation are also areas of concern.” Chart:

Note: N=4032 for all responses except physician communities, which only includes respondents with no prior QuantiaMD connection (N=854). Source: QuantiaResearch

For more about this discrepancy (highly rated importance of physician communities and actual low use of them by physicians) see "Physician Participation in Peer-to-Peer Social Media Sites: Why Is It Less Than Expected?" Use discount code 'P2Pfree' to get it free.

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