Conversation Dynamics of Doctors 2.0

Posted by: in Digital Health, Insights, Interns/Internship, MDigitalLife, Social Media Insights & Trends on June 17, 2014

One could say we “hit the ground running” with regards to our internships here at MDigitalLife, which is a blessing considering the amount of knowledge we’ve been able to acquire thus far. Our first big assignment was to monitor Twitter conversations surrounding Doctors 2.0, a digital health conference in Paris, France. The conference is dedicated to spreading new ideas and technologies surrounding healthcare social media so that physicians, healthcare companies and patients can share insights on how to better engage with one another in the online space. While the event itself is only 2 days, the conversations, both online and off, have had a lasting impact on the way people see digital health. Needless to say, #doctors20 was a trending topic amongst both physicians and non-physicians in the Twittersphere. Using WCG’s toolbox of social listening and analytics tools, along with some guidance from the MDigitalLife team, we were able to compare data from last year to this year and uncover some fascinating trends regarding Doctors 2.0.

If Twitter serves as an indication of popularity, it’d be safe to say Doctors 2.0 is having a growing impact in the digital world. Since last year, we have seen a significant jump in conversation volume during the conference, from 9502 tweets in 2013 to 12,695 tweets this year. That’s a 33.6% jump in growth!

doctors20 tweet chart

Conversation volume – 2013 vs. 2014

When we dug deeper to identify who exactly was driving these conversations, we were pretty surprised. Although we saw a 47.5% increase in unique users tweeting about Doctors 2.0, only 17 new doctors joined the conversation between this year and last. So who exactly was making #doctors20 so buzz-worthy this year?

twitter users chart

Unique users – Physicians vs. Non-Physicians

The evidence points to a growing number of participants joining the Doctors 2.0 community that aren’t doctors; they are healthcare companies, patients and patient advocacy groups. We also discovered that even though only 17 new doctors tweeted about the conference this year, the amount of Doctors 2.0-related content produced by physicians increased significantly in 2014. Last year, physicians contributed to 13% of the Doctors 2.0 conversation, while this year they contributed 20%. At MDigitalLife, we have the unique ability to link registered physicians to their digital activity. Using our database we were able to find the users that physicians mentioned most, in other words, the people doctors felt were most relevant in the Doctors 2.0 dialogue.

Top 5 most mentioned handles by physicians

Top 5 most mentioned handles by physicians

example tweets from doctors 2.0

Tweets of the top 5 most active users at #doctors20

When we look at all of these figures together, we can see the ways that the Doctors 2.0 conference and its online presence have evolved. Individual doctors have become increasingly engaged in the conference, posting more frequently this year, yet other healthcare stakeholders are bringing a new perspective to the conversation just by becoming participants. A conference that just years ago was almost entirely doctor-centered has transformed into a much more inclusive and diverse group of passionate thought-leaders with the goal of taking healthcare into the digital sphere.

by: Benjamin Satterthwaite & Benita Zhang

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