Patients and Clinicians Trust Social Media

The IMS Institute, which collects data and collaborates with the public and private sectors, has just issued a noteworthy report called “Engaging Patients through Social Media.”

Among the report’s key points:

  • Social media is a persuasive communicator:

“Patient trust in clinicians and the broad reach of social media puts healthcare professionals in a prime position to drive healthcare topics on the Web.”

  • Huge growth of social media:

Use of social networking sites grew from 8% of adults online in 2005 to 72% in 2013.

  • Online dominates print:

In making clinical decisions, physicians spend twice as much time using online resources compared to print.

  • Video is very popular:

“Physicians spend an average of 3 hours a week watching online videos for professional purposes, citing their top 3 as Medscape and YouTube, followed by videos on pharmaceutical company websites.”

  • Wiki rules:

“Wikipedia is the leading single source of healthcare information for patients AND healthcare professionals.”

“Wikipedia health pages are updated substantially and often, suggesting a need for better curation.”

  • MDs trust Wikipedia:

“Nearly 50% of U.S. physicians who go online for professional purposes use Wikipedia for information.”

Source: IMS Institute. IMS Health calls itself “the world’s leading information, services and technology company dedicated to making healthcare perform better.” The company consults to medical device, pharmaceuticals and other companies.

More on the findings at: (free registration at Medscape).

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