Sunday, September 13, 2009

More doctors spending time online

It's no surprise that doctors are spending more time online, right?

The results of a Manhattan Research white paper titled: “How Digital is Shaping the Future of Pharmaceutical Marketing,” reveal that in 2002, physicians spent an average of 2.5 hours per week on the Internet for professional reasons. Compare that to now, where the average physician spends 8 hrs per week on the Internet. They are researching medical information, completing CME activities, and reading medical news. I'm sure Sermo has also bumped those Internet hours. The same report indicates that 64% of physicians use smartphones (that number seems a bit high to me if you consider the wide spectrum of physician ages).

The biggest area of change as we look into the future is smartphones. As these devices become more powerful, physicians will use them to access the web more regularly. Mobile web browsers are now able to view complete web pages and you can simply zoom in and out to view content. Soon, the days of websites being formatted for small screens will be a thing of the past.

As more doctors rely on the Internet, we're also going to see growth in electronic pharmaceutical marketing. Instead of printed journal ads in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, we'll simply see electronic banners on more websites (like this one). I think we're all getting accustomed to ignoring ads and simply tuning them out.

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