10.11.2023 | Insight
EASD 2023: what drove online conversation among HCPs and people with diabetes?
Daniel Ghinn, CEO and Founder of CREATION.co and I attended the European Association for the Study of Diabetes’ 2023 Annual Meeting, hosted in the Congress Center, Hamburg.
It was an incredible experience to be there in-person, having followed the social media reactions of healthcare professionals (eHCPs) to many such conferences for many years.
eHCPs during EASD 2023
The excitement in the build up to the conference was certainly there online. Posts along the lines of “I am boarding my plane”, “I have arrived” and “I’m looking forward to seeing everyone” were coming in thick and fast in the days leading up to the opening session.
An early spike in online conversation occurred during the opening session with the Presidential Address and the 55th Claude Bernard Lecture as the new EASD logo was also announced. There were a vast number of scientific research updates coming from the various halls around the venue. However, a lot of eHCPs were seen reposting on X (formerly Twitter) about the #dedoc° symposium, in which dedoc voices (people with diabetes) shared their stories about stigma and discrimination. This behaviour also caused #dedoc to be the most shared hashtag by eHCPs after #EASD2023 and #diabetes.
There were hundreds of presentations, posters and spotlight talks over the course of five days, many of which were discussed online by audience members, often taking photos of the slides being presented. Some of the most shared individual sessions included Diabetes complications presented by Stephan Herzig and Real-world glycaemic outcomes by Emma Wilmot.
Examining the sharing behaviours of HCPs online, it was observed the most shared individual eHCP posts were those giving the results from tirzepatide and SGLT2i trials. Similarly, quantifying the website pages linked most frequently to HCPs’ posts during EASD showed tirzepatide and SGLT2i trial data shared from JAMA, NEJM and Med Cell Press were most common.
Many hundreds of HCPs posted online, some more frequently than others for example Shashank Joshi was the most active HCP during EASD posting almost 250 times, including publishing more than 100 original posts (as opposed to retweets/shares)!
The online medical discussion was not all just about diabetes either. As traditionally diabetes products moved into cardiovascular and kidney diseases this was reflected in the trials being presented and the online social media posts mirrored this. Besides the metabolic diseases diabetes and obesity, MASLD (metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease), formerly NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) was the most discussed disease. The new nomenclature alone was certainly worth a point of discussion among doctors.
Patients during EASD 2023
The majority of attendees of EASD were practising physicians, from all corners of the globe based on the number of countries we were seeing on name tags. However there were a number of people living with diabetes and patient advocates in attendance also.
The aforementioned #dedoc° sessions generated the most online engagement from people with diabetes, as the diabetes community followed updates from further afield as well as in the room.
‘Nat’ going by the X moniker Nat’s Pancreas 404 was most active person with diabetes during EASD 2023, at certain moments in a flurry activity she drove a spike in the patient conversation using #EASD2023.
During the #dedoc° symposium people with diabetes spoke about the stigma and discrimination they had faced and this theme was a prevalent one in social media posting too. The most shared posts and links by people with diabetes during EASD were about stigma and discrimination. The Pledge to End Diabetes Stigma by End Diabetes Stigma and Discrimination was the most shared page.
With congress being such a huge investment for pharmaceutical companies we understand the need to ensure maximum impact from their expenditure. Being able to understand what is most important to HCPs and who is influencing the online conversation is a great way to achieve this. To find out what this might look like for you, why not watch our webinar ‘How to make the most of your medical congress investment’, or read our 10 ways to maximise congress investment by utilising eHCP insights.