Monday, February 1, 2010

Physicians in 2012: The Outlook for On Demand, Mobile, and Social Digital Media

While most providers don't communicate with patients via email, secure messaging portals or instant messaging, online patient-physician communication is becoming more common, according to a new report from Manhattan Research. About 39 percent of physicians now have electronic communications with their patients, a 14-point increase since 2006, the report claims.

Physician smartphone adoption rates will experience significant growth over the next few years. Currently, 64% of U.S. physicians own smartphones, but this will increase to 81% penetration in 2012, according to the latest physician report from pharmaceutical and healthcare company Manhattan Research. "Physicians in 2012: The Outlook for On Demand, Mobile, and Social Digital Media", is part of the company's Taking the Pulse® market research and strategic advisory service. The report looks at how physician use of emerging technologies such as mobile and social media will evolve in 2012 and serves as a guide for manufacturers and publishers looking to leverage imminent digital opportunities.

While the last few years saw strong growth in the share of physicians starting to use digital media for work, the next couple of years will see the evolution of a more mature and proficient physician audience. With this shift, the Internet will become physicians’ primary professional resource. Mobile will become even more indispensable to physicians as they start to expand the range activities they perform on these devices to include administrative tasks and patient monitoring.

Physician adoption of digital media shows little signs of slowing in 2012 – quite the contrary. While the last few years have seen a rapid uptake in Internet-related media and devices, the next few will see the emergence of a maturing physician audience, one that is more proficient and has more extensive experience with online professional products and services.

Today, almost as many physicians research information, attend conferences, and read journals online as do so offline. Physicians’ time online has doubled since 2003. Moreover, about four in five physicians believe that the Internet is essential to their practice and improves their practice’s efficiency.

Growth in newer media adoption has been particularly remarkable in the last two years, and is in many cases limited only by the availability of professional content in these formats. Participation in social networks that are dedicated to physicians has almost doubled from 2008 to 2009. Mobile trends are equally impressive, with smartphone/PDA ownership growing significantly between 2008 and 2009. As a pharma marketer recently remarked, “it’s very exciting to see the explosion of new technologies.”

Even more change lies ahead. In 2012, physicians will be more immersed in online media in several respects. Physicians will use online resources more frequently and will reduce or eliminate their use of offline sources as the Internet becomes a primary rather than complimentary resource. A higher number of physicians will perform a broader and more complex range of functions online, including on mobile devices. User-generated content will become a mainstream source of information and influence, and professional social networks may well start to evolve into hubs of content, service, and connection. All of this at a time when manufacturers are aggressively seeking a new sales and marketing model, and the overall product and payer landscape is shifting.

This module looks at how mobile, social, and on demand trends will evolve in 2012, to help manufacturers and publishers leverage imminent digital opportunities.

In this report, Senior Director of Research Monique Levy looks at how physician use of emerging technologies such as mobile and social media will evolve in 2012 and serves as a guide for manufacturers and publishers looking to leverage imminent digital opportunities.


Physicians in 2012:
The Outlook for On Demand, Mobile, and Social Digital Media

Table of Contents


I. Mobile Outlook
  • Figure 1-1: Adoption of Smartphone/PDAs Through 2012
  • Figure 1-2: Characteristics of Smartphone/PDA Users and Non Smartphone/PDA Users
  • Close-Up 1-1: Examples of Emerging Mobile Products and Services
  • Figure 1-5: Activities Physicians Prefer Doing on Mobile Devices

II. Social Media Outlook

  • Figure 2-1: User-Generated Content Outlook
  • Figure 2-2: Types of User-Generated Content
  • Close-Up 2-1: Example of Surgery Video on YouTube
  • Figure 2-3: Physician Social Network Outlook
  • Close-Up 2-2: Examples of Physician Social Networks
  • Figure 2-4: Physician Adoption of General Social Networks for Professional and Personal Purposes
  • Figure 2-5: Frequency of Use of Various Online Resources

III. On Demand Outlook

  • Figure 3-1: Share of Physicians Going Online Daily
  • Figure 3-2: Occasions When Physicians Access the Internet
  • Figure 3-3: Channel Adoption Across Professional Activities
  • Figure 3-4: Weekly Use of Online Resources 2008-2009
For an excerpt from the module and more information about its contents, please visit:http://www.manhattanresearch.com/products/Research_Modules/Physician/physicians-2012-mobile-social-media.aspx