Top Content Choices of Indian Doctors in Digital Era
Over the past one and a half decades, Indian doctors have been witness to several changes in the country’s healthcare landscape such as rising disease burden, increase in antibiotic-resistant bugs, advent of precision medicine and possibly the most disruptive change yet, ‘Digitization’.
Right from the country’s first telemedicine facility in 2000 to Artificial Intelligence-based diagnostic services introduced earlier this year, digital health has drastically changed the way Indian doctors practice medicine. The shift to digital media has also opened up new channels of sourcing medical information and communicating with patients, pharma companies and even colleagues.
It is vital to understand how these new dynamics are transforming doctors’ mindsets and content choices.
How do today’s doctors stay updated on drugs and medical news? Which topics draw maximum attention? In which areas is more information sought?
When Docplexus crossed the milestone of 2,00,000 members, it conducted a survey to gain the community’s feedback on its current digital offerings and expectations for the future. Over 2,300 doctors offered their opinions.
The Voice of India’s Medical Community
Drawing insights from these results and the previous mindset analyses conducted by Docplexus, the following choices made by India’s medical community have come to light:
Digital Media Rule
Indian doctors have grown extremely comfortable with digital networks that connect them to colleagues, patients and even drug manufacturers. They actively consume online content of different types like articles, surgical videos, KOL interviews, medical news and CME courses. The proliferation of internet, penetration of 4G services and rising use of mobiles is expected to fuel this trend further. Docplexus News, a Weekly News Series by Docplexus to keep medical professionals updated on latest happenings in their field has been widely lauded by the community.
Patient Case Discussions Most Favored Content
Online networks have opened up a great channel of communication for the busy medical practitioner. The previously disconnected community can now instantly reach out to peers and domain experts and seek their guidance on challenging clinical cases. Docplexus witnesses over 6,000 patient case discussions and 12,500 clinical queries every month.
Updates on Latest Drugs and Treatment Guidelines Highly Coveted
In a study to assess online habits of Indian physicians, Docplexus found that 72% doctors preferred to read up on latest drugs, medical devices, and diagnostic tests, online. They pick content that is clear and concise, with summarized takeaways. Busy doctors favor the convenience and flexibility offered by digital media. With information readily available at their fingertips, they can now minimize their interactions with MRs during office hours and use the time saved to serve more patients. Digital media also facilitate real-time updates to various treatment guidelines. Docplexus observes a rising need to understand accepted guidelines of evidence-based medicine in different clinical situations.
Online CME Courses Preferred
Doctors have always struggled with taking traditional continuing medical education courses due to time and location constraints and high fees. However, CME courses are mandatory for retaining medical licenses, creating a pressing need to find more convenient ways of taking them. Online CME courses have resolved these challenges for doctors, especially those based in smaller towns. Till now, Docplexus has successfully conducted 3 online CME courses that have attracted a cumulative enrollment of 5,800 physicians.
Rare Diseases, A Sought-after Topic
The Foundation for Research on Rare Diseases and Disorders pegs the number of Indians afflicted with rare disease to 72,611,605. Also known as ‘Orphan’ drugs, these diseases and disorders lack epidemiological data and are greatly varied in their prevalence. Doctors are increasingly on the lookout for more information on these medical conditions. In April this year, Docplexus started a microsite dedicated to providing information on 600 rare diseases prevalent in our country. In only about 2 months since launch, the microsite witnessed an engagement of 5190 unique visitors who participated in 345 discussions.
MedicoLegal Content Among Top Unmet Needs
Rising consumer awareness, mounting costs of medical services and flexible consumer forums are contributing to higher medical cases against doctors. It is estimated that medical negligence lawsuits alone are rising by 110% each year. This coupled with recent episodes of severe physical violence against doctors has invoked widespread discussions and queries on Docplexus platform. Recognizing the dire need to increase community’s awareness regarding medicolegal matters, Docplexus recently tied up with Institute of Medicine and Law (IML), India’s foremost authority on medical laws as its knowledge partner. In this capacity, Docplexus will strive to provide clarity on various legal aspects related to clinical practice.
From being hugely dependent on MRs and medical seminars for drug updates and having limited interactions with fellow professionals, to gaining round-the-clock access to authentic medical information and engaging in continuous dialogue with over 2,00,000 colleagues from across specialties and regions, the Indian doctor has truly come a long way. Today’s digitally-savvy doctor CHOOSES the type of medical content to be consumed, when it is to be consumed and in which format. This empowerment will undoubtedly lead to much better medical outcomes in the coming years.