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10.05.2011

European physician engagement gets simpler

When it comes to targeting healthcare professionals, physician social networks provide a valuable resource for studying the behaviour of doctors, and engaging them in relevant and well-targeted ways. However, the sheer number of physician networks, and the range of capabilities, can make for complex strategy planning and implementation across international regions.

Today, however, a brand new service has been announced that allows pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organizations to research and engage healthcare professionals in eight European countries, promising ‘integrated programme management and measurement’.

Networks in Health is an alliance between Europe’s largest online physician communities: the UK’s Doctors.net.uk; France’s Egora and La Revue du Practicien; Medcenter in Spain and Portugal; coliquio in Germany, Austria and Switzerland; and Sweden’s MedUniverse. The combined network represents over 600,000 registered physicians.

Networks in Health Development Director, Gareth Thomas, says that the immediate benefits for organizations seeking to engage physicians across Europe are the consistency of approach and the ability to measure across all the networks centrally.

“We can provide real insights – not just quantitative; we can track user journeys so we know which kinds of doctors are engaging with content and how. But also, all these communities have some form of discussion forum, so there is a huge amount of knowledge about what doctors are talking about and how they’re behaving and interacting with online content.

“Through the market research and analysis tools that we have, we can provide insights back to customers pre, during, and post programme, to see the impact of what they are doing.”

Cultural diversity

An essential factor in pan-European healthcare engagement is the need to incorporate local cultural and language insights into a regional strategy. Networks in Health has been launched with this in mind – Thomas says that the power of the alliance is that it is not a ‘one size fits all’ international network but recognises the diversity that exists between individual countries, languages and cultures: “The strength that each partner brings to the alliance is not only the reach to their members, but also local understanding and knowhow of market standards, culture and regulation.”

All the communities that make up Networks in Health use fully-authenticated membership, making the network a unique international platform to engage a community known to comprise solely registered doctors. This is especially important for pharmaceutical companies operating in Europe, where direct-to-consumer marketing of medicines is forbidden.

Centralised analysis

Networks in Health analysis tool
(source: http://networksinhealth.com/reporting-analysis-insight.html)

Networks in Health provides a single point from which to launch and deploy a physician engagement initiative across any of the member communities, and provides centralised measurement.

“On the quantitative side, we will provide real-time dashboards to regional and local brand teams so they can compare the results of campaigns, and can see which messaging is resonating  in real-time between markets”, says Thomas.


Creation Healthcare advises pharmaceutical marketers, communicators and business leaders about improving outcomes in a changing engagement environment. If you would like to talk with a member of our team about how we can help you to develop a physician engagement strategy, contact us now.

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