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Online Usage Trends of HCPs

Posted by | 1:24pm on Thursday, June 12, 2008

97% of all physicians are online for professional purposes 

Manhattan Research recently came out with a new data covering usage trends of healthcare professionals (HCPs). They found that:

  • 99% of physicians are online for personal or professional use
  • 97% of all physicians are online for professional purposes

The shift shown between 2005-2008 was definitely trending toward heavy online usage rates:

  • Conferences: offline -15%; online +11%
  • Journals: offline -8%; online +23%
  • CME: online +12%
  • Medical reference and textbooks: online +15%

Online growth is especially strong in specialty areas. Oncologists and pulmonologists are especially likely to go online during patient consults (usually for the patient’s benefit – pointing out support areas, etc.).

94% of HCPs say they see about 10% of patients bringing in health information from online sources. The result? 50%+ of HCPs say they then spent MORE time with the patient; most of the rest report spending about the same time with their patient, and only a tiny percent spent less time with patients who brought in info gathered online.

There is a definite move toward a 2-way dialogue for marketers. Right now these figure show this is moving faster on the HCP side than the patient side.

HCP participants more also likely to be:

  • Primary care physicians
  • Female
  • Own a PDA/smartphone
  • Go online during/between consults
  • Slightly younger

Other notes of interest:

  • In 2008, 75% of HCPs visited a corporate or product website, though the visits were sporadic. Manhattan Research suggests that these shouldn’t be the main focus of your marketing plan (to the detriment of search engines, society sites, etc).
  • Physicians don’t want to totally get rid of the human drug rep.
  • Online service portals need great content and integration with your overall marketing plan. Only a few excel at this, including Merck Services (where you can access a live remote rep), Nova Medlink, and Genetech BioOncology.
  • eDetailing is trending downward, but HCPs aren’t requesting it less. Rather, there are fewer invitations. (Manhattan Research suggests that some companies may have been burned in past years, but that the real lack is with quality content that integrates the research/learning experience HCPs are really looking for).
  • 20% of HCPs use Wikipedia.

(Image courtesy of southerntabitha via Flickr)

About Wendy White

Since founding Siren Interactive in 1999, Wendy has been recognized as a thought leader at the intersection of niche pharma brands, patient empowerment and online marketing. Her vision for how the internet can facilitate interactions and provide crucial information that patients, caregivers and their healthcare providers previously struggled to find has propelled Siren to the forefront of relationship marketing for rare disorder therapies.

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