The MDigitalLife Top 5: Who doctors ACTUALLY follow – the Healthcare Companies Edition

Posted by: in Digital Health, Healthcare Insights, MDigitalLife, Medical Communications, Social Media Insights & Trends on May 5, 2014

This is the 3rd of a 5-part series:

We tend to spend a lot of time studying and learning from what doctors say. From focus groups to surveys to advisory boards, we want (and in the case of patients and healthcare companies, we need) to understand what they’re talking about. But what’s at least as important is to understand what they’re listening to. Who they’re learning from. What they care about.

The MDigitalLife database is the first and only database in the world to link physicians’ “digital footprints” to their national physician registry, and as of today has mapped the digital footprints for over 220,000 US physicians (and is preparing to launch in Europe). Using that database, I’ll  be sharing 5 lists – all based on who those real doctors ACTUALLY FOLLOW on twitter. No editorializing, no guesswork. So without further ado, let me introduce you to the Top 5  healthcare companies followed by US physicians:


  1. WebMD – @WebMD (Also the #13most followed handle in any category)
  2. TedMED – @TedMED (The #50 most followed overall)
  3. EverydayHealth – @EverydayHealth (The #119 most followed overall)
  4. iMedicalApps – @iMedicalApps (The #282 most followed overall)
  5. Rock Health – @Rock_Health (The #356 most followed overall)

One of the things that we’ve learned about doctors communicating online is that they mention specific brand and product names very sparingly (often for very good reasons!).   However, there are a reasonable number of healthcare companies* that were in the “top 1,000 most followed by doctors” list.

Given its tenure as an online healthcare destination, it’s not too surprising to see WebMD at the top of this list. Likewise, the popular TedMED conference and healthcare startup incubator Rock Health have driven tremendous online buzz over the last several years. To me, the biggest surprise in the top 5 is clearly iMedicalApps. Founded by then-medical -student Iltifat Hussain in 2010, iMedicalApps has become the signature destination for doctors who are interested in the latest in mobile technology – not surprising that tweeting doctors would be included on that list.

Other items of note:

  • Various “online communities” made the top 1,000 list, including Healthtap (#454), Sermo (#548) and Doximity (#593)
  • There is only one major pharma company in the top 1,000 – Allergan (#805). That was a surprise to me. In fact, there were very few “traditional” healthcare companies of any kind on the list.

Make sure to read the other posts in this series:

Methodology Notes:

  • This list does NOT include Hospitals, Health Systems and Academic Institutions. Those entities are on a separate list that I’m not planning to publish unless people are specifically interested.
  • Follower lists were generated on January 13, 2014

By: Greg Matthews

Greg Matthews is the the creator and Managing Director of the W2O Group's MDigitalLife - Understanding, Engaging and Activating Physicians in the Digital Age

Find me on: Twitter
Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on! Join the conversation #precommerce.

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK


(required, but never shared)

or, reply to this post via trackback.