Digital Opinion Leaders in Diabetes: The Worldwide HCP Social Media Study

By Daniel Ghinn

I recently presented a webinar entitled ‘Digital Opinion Leaders in Diabetes: The Worldwide HCP Social Media Study’; a study of over 200,000 posts, tweets and comments from healthcare professionals in public social media talking about diabetes over a one-year period.

The study was conducted by Creation Healthcare using Creation Pinpoint, and I hoped that by analysing what over 19,000 HCP contributors had said in more than 125 countries, we would develop a picture of different attitudes and interests relating to diabetes all over the world. We published the study slide deck on SlideShare, and in its first week more than 5,000 people viewed it, and we received positive responses from diabetes patients and healthcare professionals. That’s quite something for a study of HCP conversations and I think reflects the huge interest in conversations about diabetes. You can see the study below.

Digital Opinion Leaders in Diabetes: The Worldwide HCP Social Media Study from Creation Healthcare

Digital Opinion Leaders in Diabetes: The Worldwide HCP Social Media Study from Creation Healthcare

Global diabetes insights from HCPs

In the study we found some interesting international patterns. When we analysed topics of conversation by geographic location, for example (see slide 51), we found that while in Japan, HCPs are talking widely about diabetes prevention, diagnosis, management, and monitoring in roughly equal volumes, in Venezuela, prevention and risk of diabetes took up the greatest share of conversation by far. While in North America and the UK, the topic of diabetes reversal appeared in the conversation.

Throughout the study, many individual ‘events’ took place that stimulated conversation, such as new treatment approaches, studies, or news about the burden of diabetes. One story that highlighted health systems approaches in different parts of the world was when the US Preventative Services Task Force backed universal diabetes testing for pregnant women (see slides 46-48). In the US, some HCPs were encouraged by the news: “Good to see this guideline change”, tweeted a dietician. While others were a little cynical: “Today’s obvious department”, commented a pediatric surgeon, while another HCP posted on Medpage Today that this has been the standard of care for years. In Japan, meanwhile, the news appears to have sparked conversations on the same day via Twitter about testing for gestational diabetes during pregnancy. One obstetrician tweeted that some gynecologists “didn’t  do their jobs properly” by failing to test for gestational diabetes during pregnancy and urged professionals to change this practice.

The study also looks at conversations about diabetes by different kinds of HCP roles, such as endocrinologists, nurses or primary care physicians. It is interesting to see how conversations among each kind of role help identify relevant topics that might be lost in the wide spectrum of conversation among all HCPs.

If you have reviewed the slides, what did you find interesting? Feel free to comment below.

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Meet the Author

Daniel Ghinn

Daniel has been at the helm throughout the company’s life since 1998. His rich expertise in working with pharmaceutical businesses has enabled CREATION to build business solutions that fit our clients’ needs.

Daniel is married to Jo, has three children, a cat, a dog, 28 fish, and 160,000 bees.