Marketing & Strategy

Patient engagement with clinicians doubles on Twitter

Health Industry Hub | January 25, 2021 |
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Marketing & Strategy: Patient-clinician engagement using Twitter has nearly doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and doctors are increasingly engaging with patients on a wide range of topics, including impact of COVID-19 on regular care, racial inequalities in healthcare, and the safety and efficacy of vaccines.

There was a 93% increase in patient engagement with clinician content on the Twitter platform since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The initial increase was driven almost exclusively by COVID-19-related topics, but evolved to a broader range of health-related topics. Looking deeper at these more digitally savvy doctors, research found that doctors who engaged with patients and other doctors on Twitter had the highest number of telehealth claims in the first six months after the pandemic began, with increases ranging from 27% to 55%.

These results show that many of the clinicians who are successful at leveraging Twitter as a communications platform are the same ones who have successfully adopted digital technologies to provide care to patients despite the disruptions of COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the unstoppable train that is people adopting technology to understand, manage and improve their health,” said Seth Duncan, W2O’s Chief Data Officer. “This new report demonstrates that social media is an integral part of how medical information is shared between healthcare professionals and consumers and is an essential part of the health data ecosystem.”

“Twitter has always been the go-to platform for healthcare professionals (HCPs) who want to share information quickly and effectively,” said Lisa Bookwalter, Twitter’s Director, Health Client Solutions. “However, the realities of COVID-19 have accelerated this trend in ways we could not have imagined. Twitter is now an integral part of how HCPs are able to conduct business, share research, communicate with patients, or access the latest public health information from across the globe. This opens up a new channel to engage with this hard-to-reach audience.”

According to W2O’s research, the sharing of medical information by doctors increased by 26% year-over-year, resulting in greater access for consumers to scientific information. The research suggests an emerging tide of clinicians who are connecting patients directly with medical literature, often in a way that explains or contextualises that literature. This trend has important implications for the future of healthcare.

These interesting trends call for a reimagining of engagement strategies by Pharma, Biotech and MedTech marketing, communication and medical teams with clinicians and patients as part of their digital transformation and inline with compliance requirements.

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