This week Kaiser Permanente hosted an event at the Center for Total Health to release the results of a new study looking at physician conversations on social platforms. Graciously supported by KP, the study was fueled by the thinking of Greg Matthews and team of developers at WCG. Ted Eytan of KP was there at and he has offered a first-hand perspective. See the Storify, pour over Greg’s slides below, monkey around with the dataset, and think about where we need to take this.
A couple of things grabbed me:
Physician Twitter account creation peaked in 2009. That’s back when we thought Twitter was going to replace the telephone save the world. We’ve moved from irrational exuberance to understanding how we can and should use these tools in some meaningful way.
Most physicians present themselves as health professionals. Fewer than a third of physician Twitter bio’s link to personal online properties. Most doctors represent themselves as connected to a health entity, be it a practice or a business. This is higher than I would have estimated. It’s reassuring. In the early days of the social infosphere, many physicians showed up wearing masks.
Most physicians follow fewer than 1,000 people. I’d like to believe that this is because most are committed to a focused human signal. What I’d like to know is what kind of people do doctors listen to? When it comes to understanding the feeding & mating habits of the digital doc, who they listen to may be as important as what they’re talking about.
The ratio of following to followers is 1:1. This grabbed me because I have no idea what it means. Twitter is one of a dozen tools depending on who’s holding it. For some it serves to broadcast, others it’s a tool for listening. For some docs Twitter’s a cocktail party, for others it’s a serious tool for listening.
I’m interested to see where WCG takes this. And hopefully Kaiser will be willing to push it further along.