Friday, July 24, 2009

Social Media Networks Continue Trying to Engage Physicians

Social Media Networks Continue Trying to Engage Physicians

Several startups have set their sites on the medical community in an attempt to provide physicians with their own social media network ala Facebook or MySpace. A Massachusetts-based company, Sermo, seems to have made the furthest inroad into the medical community claiming it has 100,000 physician users registered on its site. This number is no doubt due to the fact that, until recently, Sermo was connected to the medical community through the AMA. The two organizations have subsequently gone their separate ways. But Sermo continues to try and gain traction for its social network for doctors.

Other entrants to this market include Ozmosis, an invitation-only physician community which claims to verify and identify its members by name, thus presumably increasing the site’s credibility and value to physicians. Cleveland-based Within3 has focused its efforts on creating closed communities for targeted audiences such as the faculty, residents, fellows and alumni of Children’s Hospital Boston. Seattle’s iMedExchange is attempting to engage physicians 24/7 through new applications, widgets and platforms including mobile.

The challenge these companies face is the question of what would be compelling enough to convince a significant number of time-crunched and inward-looking physicians to seriously embrace an online network. But whichever company can figure it out has a lot to gain. If done correctly, these sites could become the new places pharmaceutical companies can connect with doctors and invest what is reported to be their billion-dollar budgets for marketing.

For more information see the story in Med City News


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