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Are Social Networking Sites useful to Physicians?

Posted Jan 27 2009 4:37pm

According to marketing web site ClickZ, findings from a new Manhattan Research report demonstrate significant interest from doctors in the US to use social networking sites.

By Virginia Citrano, ClickZ, Jan 27, 2009: Some 60 percent of doctors in the United States use social networking sites for physicians, or are interested in joining them, and they write more prescriptions than medical colleagues who are not active in such sites. These are among the findings in a new report from Manhattan Research, a New York-based pharmaceutical and healthcare market research company.

According to "Taking the Pulse v8.0", which surveyed more than 1,800 doctors nationwide, physicians active in online communities tend to be primary care doctors, female and, perhaps not surprisingly, younger than average. And a statistic that should catch the attention of online video creators: 83 percent of physicians watch online videos, compared with 34 percent of all U.S. adults.

Click here to read the full article

However, what does this mean from a practical and pragmatic perspective? Are physicians going to begin using social network tools such as twitter or the newly launched Canadian Medical Association web site Asklepios? Use of Asklepois has increased since the site launched in August last year and now has about 1,300 members. One of the most active groups on Asklepios is the group relating to EMRs (of which I am a member).

It is not yet clear how physicians will use social networking tools to keep up with their colleagues and practice commitments. At this time, it appears to be more about social support peripheral to the practice of medicine.

What your thoughts? Do you see social networking tools becoming more popular? How will they be used most effectively? Do you belong to any other forms of social networks?

Take a look at my twitter profile to see how it is being used as a social networking tool.

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