Medimix International has conducted a new survey on the use of social networking websites among healthcare professionals in the US, TOP 5 Europe, Brazil and Mexico. A total of 510 oncologists, hematologists, cardiologists and general practitioners were interviewed online about their current awareness and usage of these websites for personal and professional practices.
Among the general social networking websites, more than two-thirds (66%) of the interviewed physicians declared that they either don’t know or don’t use them. Surprisingly, in Germany this number goes as high as 86%.
But for the 34% of those interviewed who do use them, Facebook dominates the pack: Overall 30% of all physicians are members, with up to 42% in Italy and 40% in the US. Interestingly, the lowest Facebook usage was observed in Germany, with only 12% of the physicians as members.
Myspace and Twitter came second, well behind Facebook, with only 4% of physicians reporting that they use them. However, it is noteworthy that Myspace is mostly used in the US, Mexico and Brazil, and seldom in Europe, while Twitter is mostly used in the US (with up to 10% of US physicians using it).
Some country particularities were noticed: Orkut is used by 31% of Brazilian physicians but not used anywhere else; and HI5 is used by 23% of Mexican physicians but not used anywhere else.
With regard to medical and scientific networking websites, up to 43% of the interviewed sample are aware of at least one, with more than 250 services cited altogether. However, only 10 of them are cited by more than 5 respondents. Furthermore, only two of them are truly international, one sponsored by a pharmaceutical company and the other sponsored by an association. The rest of these services are mostly limited to one country and are not true social networking sites.
“There seems to be some confusion in physicians’ minds about what a social networking website is. Like most pharmaceutical companies, physicians have not yet explored the immense potential of social networking between peers and rely on web 1.0 websites to obtain medical information,” comments Henry Gazay, CEO of Medimix International. “However, the survey indicates that physicians are eager to exchange information with their colleagues, and the current landscape of online medical information should change dramatically in the coming years with the explosion of web 2.0 technology.”
“Virtually every industry feels the impact of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and healthcare is no exception. As physicians and providers discover the benefits of online collaboration and learn to guard against the risks, peer-to-peer communities will flourish in the years to come. Our recent survey shows the trend is well underway,” remarks Alex de Carvalho, Online Community Leader at Medimix International.
“We plan to expand this survey to Asian countries including Japan and China, were specific sites, such as Haoyisheng (Good Doctor) which has an estimated 100,000 visits per day, are very popular and are true examples of physician networking communities.”
About this survey: It was conducted online in June-July 2009, with a representative sample of physicians connected to the internet. 510 physicians were interviewed in USA, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, Brazil and Mexico. Specialties represented were oncologists, hematologists, cardiologists and general practitioners. The full survey describes how physicians are using these communities and the type of activities they would like to see being developed. It also analyzes the top 10 scientific communities cited by physicians.
About Medimix International
Medimix International (medimix.net) is a dynamic provider of advanced marketing research solutions for the healthcare industry worldwide. Medimix’s proprietary panel provides direct access to over 500,000 physicians and healthcare professionals from around the world, making it one of the largest panels in the industry.