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Webinar strikes a chord with pharma

Over 300 people listened live to the Rise of Online Physician Communities

More than 300 people from the pharma industry joined a webinar, organised by PMLiVE last week, to explore the 'rise of online physician communities across Europe' and how to capitalise on them. 

The event kicked off with a presentation by Dr Tim Ringrose, CEO of Doctors.net.uk and Networks in Health, who outlined how such communities have taken off in recent years to incorporate more than 3m physicians worldwide.

Tim discussed the stages of development of different networks in different countries and outlined the 20 or so physician networks that are already part of the Networks in Health Alliance. Doctors.net.uk and Coliquio in Germany are currently leading the way in Europe, with more than 194,000 and 66,000 members respectively; while networks in emerging countries such as India, Latin America, China and Russia are growing particularly fast. 

Being able to access credible information and resources, complete online CME and collaborate with colleagues to find answers to clinical questions within minutes, were highlighted by Tim as the key reasons behind doctors' use of online physician networks, as well as the fact that doctors trust them because of their independence.

Simon Grime, Managing Director of Communications for Doctors.net.uk, outlined some of the opportunities for pharma companies to gather insight, promote, educate and inform doctors about a therapy area or topic via professional online networks. He also highlighted the value of the Networks in Health Alliance, in enabling pharma to think globally but act locally through preferred and trusted channels for physicians. The combined networks within the organisation make it the largest alliance of international online physician communities with more than 1.2m members and it provides a single point of access.

The issues of speed of adoption and use of professional online networks by pharma were covered by digital healthcare expert Len Starnes, guest speaker at the webinar, who explained how interest and activity in this area has rapidly increased in the past 18 months. However, in the Q&A that followed the webinar, he warned against investment by the pharma industry in setting up their own online networks for doctors and stressed the value that doctors place in independent networks that cannot be accessed or moderated by anyone else. 

Tim said: 'The number of people who attended this event proves that there is a real thirst for knowledge and understanding about how online professional health communities operate across Europe and rest of the world. The high volume of questions about how industry can get involved to engage physicians effectively demonstrates the growing recognition that online communities should be a key part of the marketing mix for any company in healthcare.'

The Rise of Online Physician Communities in Euorpe webinar has now been archived and can be viewed on PMLiVE 

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

18th October 2012

From: Marketing

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