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M3 Group deals highlight growth of global, online doctor networks

Strikes agreements with China's Kingyee and the Physician's Desktop Reference Network in the US

Online physician communitiesThe growing popularity of online doctor networks worldwide has been underlined by news that M3 Group, which owns Doctors.net.uk, now has a reach of 2.5 million doctors across the globe, following new business developments in China and the US.

M3 Group has established a joint venture with the fast growing doctor network, Kingyee, in China. Kingyee has seen its membership increase by 300,000 in the past six months alone and currently has a total of 750,000 members, which represents about a third of all Chinese doctors.

In the US, M3 Group, which provides services to healthcare and life sciences worldwide, has recently expanded its reach to a total of 575,000 US doctors via a partnership with the Physician's Desktop Reference (PDR) Network. M3 is helping PDR expand its services to HCPs by providing its award-winning, practical medical information tool, MDLinx, to PDR members.

Use of independent online doctor networks has been growing exponentially over the past 10 years with around one third of doctors across the world, approximately 3.5m, now using them. But what is their secret of success?

Data shows that 99 per cent of doctors log on to independent professional networks to communicate with colleagues, 66 per cent use them to keep up-to-date with information, 44 per cent for online CME and 35 per cent to ask a clinical question. In fact, these networks have become so essential to a doctor's working day that they are rated second only to medical journals in terms of the levels of trust that doctors place in them.

While some pharma companies have tried to replicate the independent doctor network model by setting up their own online networks, experience shows that the 'build it and they will come' approach does not often work. Independence and impartiality are still a major priority for many doctors, especially hospital specialists. Hence, while some pharma companies have had success in this area, data from Doctors.net.uk shows that only three per cent of doctors think online pharma resources are credible and 42 per cent say they never visit their websites.

Doctors are very careful about where they seek information and share their opinions, and it is this need for credible, independent information combined with doctors' desire to network with like-minded colleagues in a secure environment that cannot be accessed by anyone else, that continue to fuel the growth of online doctor networks.

For more information on Doctors.net.uk, please call Tim Ringrose on +44 (0)1235 828400, or email Tim.Ringrose@mess.doctors.org.uk. You can also follow Doctors.net.uk on Twitter: @doctors_net_uk

24th December 2013

From: Marketing

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