Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MDigitalLife: Understanding Physicians Online

As many of you know, I've been fascinated with the way that doctors have been increasingly turning to social media as a primary communication vehicle. For years now, I've been following a growing number of physicians on twitter, and have developed some good friendships as a result.  Earlier this year, I started a regular blog series featuring doctors who were making innovative uses of social media - for all kinds of reasons.  You can meet some of those doctors in the MDigitalLife Interview Bundle.

Recently, though, I've been inspired by the work that my colleagues at WCG have been doing to mine the social web for data and insights ... it's essentially the newest form of research.  Working with colleagues like Matthew Hager, Kayla Rodriguez and Ryan Ebanks, we've done something that I think is really special: We created a database of physicians who use twitter, and linked it to an "official" data source - their NPI number.  What that means is that we have a lot more consistent information about their background - like where they practice, what their specialty is, and their gender.  It can be surprisingly hard to get that kind of data consistently from twitter itself - but it's critically important to be able to generate truly deep insights about what physicians are doing online.

I was incredibly grateful recently to have an opportunity to present the early findings of our research at the Mayo Clinic .... that slide deck is included here.  And to stay up to date with all the latest on the MDigitalLife project, you can bookmark

Enjoy - and let me know what you think ... the comments are yours!

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