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Study highlights value of internet for doctors in Eastern Europe

Electronic direct mail is proving popular as online access increases

Online Physician CommunitiesWhile access to the internet at work or in education is not the norm for many people in Eastern Europe; a white paper published by pharma health communication and market research holding company, Szinapszis Group, suggests that doctors are bucking the trend.

The MedNetTrack study, which involved more than 1,700 GPs and specialists working in 10 Eastern European countries, shows that more than 80 per cent of them have access to the internet at work, with Serbia being the only exception.

More than two thirds of doctors surveyed in Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Solvenia and Turkey, check their email once a day and 39 per cent do so several times a day.

In line with this, electronic direct mail (eDM) is proving popular across all the countries, with 70 per cent of doctors receiving a pharma eDM at least once a month. Data from Hungary shows that open rates for well-targeted electronic newsletters can exceed 40 per cent.

Some pharma companies have started to build their own databases for these mailings, while others are sending them via independent online doctor networks. These networks are used by an average of 40 per cent of doctors across the countries surveyed and around 70 per cent in Hungary.

However, pharma companies should not rest on their laurels when it comes to online doctor engagement in Eastern Europe. Gábor Gyarmati, founder of independent online network, which belongs to Networks in Health and is owned by the Szinapszis Group, predicts that pharma companies will need to innovate as doctors' use of the internet changes.

He said: “Current levels of interest in eDMs will surely decline over time. Pharma companies must move towards more creative and innovative ways to reach their target group, such as sending links to interactive e-detailing sites.”

The report suggests that pharma companies should also capitalise more on the growing use of mobile devices by doctors in Eastern Europe. For example, nearly a third of doctors in this region own a tablet and interest in tablet e-detailing is already high. However, on average only 29 per cent of pharma reps who visit doctors take tablets with them.

Optimising materials for use on smartphones could also become increasingly important. The study found that more than 40 per cent of doctors across the 10 countries own one and a third of them use these devices to search for professional information.

Alex Merckx is international development manager at M3 Europe. For more information on M3, the global provider of technology services in healthcare, and its new European Division which includes,, and, please call Tim Ringrose on +44 (0)1235 828400, or email

17th April 2014

From: Marketing



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