Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
Russia's iVrach, Belgium's Mediquality and Turkey's Doktor Sitesi have joined Networks in Health, the 'network of networks' set up by the UK's Doctors.net.uk last year.
The three communities add 114,000 new physicians to Networks in Health's existing 1.2 million physician members worldwide and join online doctor communities such as Germany's Coliquio and France's Egora.
The communities offer slightly different takes on the traditional online community model.
Doktor Sitesi is part physician, part patient community. It allows patients to pose questions directly to doctors and dentists, and also offers a find-a-doctor/dentist search function.
iVrach is a closed community for Russian-speaking physicians - more than half of its members come from Russia itself, but the community also attracts a significant part of its membership from the neighbouring countries of Ukraine and Belarus.
Meanwhile, Mediquality was set up in 2000 and is open to doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals.
Doctors.net.uk's managing director of communications said the addition of iVrach, Mediquality and Doktor Sitesi would strengthen Networks in Health's “proposition for pharma companies that want to be able to run multi-territory promotional or combined educational programmes”.
Doktor Sitesi and iVrach in particular give Health in Networks an important foothold in Russia and Turkey, two important emerging markets for the pharmaceutical industry.
Networks in Health's newest expansion looks to consolidate its access to around a quarter of the global membership of online physician-only communities (estimated to be around the 4 million mark).
It already has a presence in Europe, Latin America, Australia and the US, as well as Asia, where Networks in Health's parent company M3 is the dominant physician community in Japan and has close links to South Korean doctors through MediGate.
Earlier this year digital healthcare consultant Len Starnes spoke to PMLiVE about the rise of physician networks in Europe and picked out iVrach as one the new entrants from Eastern Europe that were helping to drive growth in the area.
Starnes, the former head of digital sales and marketing within Bayer Healthcare's general medicine division, concluded that “Europe is also now at the forefront of driving global alliances”.
• Networks in Health and Doctors.net.uk, in association with PMLiVE, will host a webinar on October, 10 at 1pm (UK time) on the rise of online physician communities in Europe