An Example of How Web 2.0 Can Make a Real Life Impact

Since my post on October 29, I have received a number requests for examples of organizations that have already Untapped the Power of Web 2.0.

What companies are making a real impact in their vertical B2B market?  My quick answer is look no further than your own doctor’s office!   A very tangible example of the Power of Web 2.0 is doctors collaborating with other doctors online.

Today social networks, like Medscape and Sermo, provide a valuable platform for health care providers to advise each other on treatment options and share new insights on medications/medical devices. Like anything in life, we are better equipped to apply a successful solution to a problem when we have seen the problem multiple times in the past. Medical care is of course no different. Communities, where true physician-to-physician consulting takes place, help improve patient care by enabling collaboration around cases when the doctor is unfamiliar with an array of symptoms or when the best treatment practices around a specific condition may yet to be established or are varying.  The result is better patient care which benefits all.

The pharma industry has been ahead of many other industries in leveraging social media to both build relationships with their core customer and gain market research intelligence.  Companies like Physicians’ Online (now a part of Medscape and Web MD) have been providing online, peer-to-peer forums for over a decade (yes, pharma marketers were involved in online communities before LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc).

Don’t be too concerned about the pharma “evangelists” on the payroll as most physician communities where doctors present, post or blog regarding treatment options do require “disclosures” of their affiliations. For example, “Dr. Smith has received research grants for clinical research and has served as an advisor or consultant for Abbott and Merck. She has received grants for educational activities from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lilly, Pfizer and sanofi-aventis.”

There remains much opportunity in the physician community space, and it goes beyond simply patient care.  The information and insights generated by a physician community can also be used to gage adoption trends and market perceptions around drugs, medical devices and technologies. This knowledge is of course gold if used appropriately by various stakeholders (i.e. the financial and investment community, drug companies, device companies, etc).

The core components of what make these doctor communities so powerful and impactful, can also transcend to other B2B communities.  Unleashing the true Power of Web 2.0 involves bringing peers together, in any profession or industry, to address areas of shared concern.  This enhances knowledge, improves efficiencies and ultimately has a positive impact on profits.

What companies do you know that are Untapping the Power of Web 2.0?

                                                                                                                                                                           

Examples of Physician Communities who are Untapping the Power of Web 2.0:

DoctorNetworking.com - the premier professional networking site for physicians.

iMedicor - offers medical records, Physician CME and collaboration, patient record sharing, practice management.

Medscape - offers specialists, primary care physicians, and other health professionals the Web’s most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools.

SpineConnect - the leading collaborative knowledge network for spine surgeons to collaborate on difficult and unusual cases.

Sermo - the fastest growing community created by physicians, for physicians.

(Please Note: I am presently not affiliated with iMedicor, Medscape, Sermo, SpineConnect, a pharma company or financial institution.)

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2 Responses to An Example of How Web 2.0 Can Make a Real Life Impact

  1. David says:

    Eric,

    Great post! I couldn’t agree more about the impact a trusted physician community or physician powered network can have on the health care industry.

    Since this was a topic of keen interest at the recent Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, we had the chance to see the best and brightest physician communities including; http://www.ozmosis.com, http://www.imedexchange.com, and http://www.medicalplexus.com. By the way, Ozmosis and MedicalPlexus were named “Best in Show” by Jen McCabe Gorman following the conference http://tinyurl.com/5qee9p

    - David

  2. Eric – Couldn’t agree with you more. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association released a plan to fix health care last year. They identified the need for an information resource for doctors to help them better diagnose and treat patients. They estimated 30% of health care dollars goes towards ineffective, unnecessary care.

    How often do we go to one doctor, are unhappy with his diagnosis, and then go to another and get a completely different diagnosis?

    Medical social networks, as you pointed out, go a long way towards helping doctors make the best decisions for their patients.

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