When we launched Creation Pinpoint, the first and only tool for studying conversations among healthcare professionals (HCPs) in public social media worldwide, we knew that Twitter had already become a mature platform of engagement among HCPs. As our data in Creation Pinpoint has grown, we have used a number of technologies to learn more about global trends in HCP social media adoption.
Of more than 100,000 HCP social media profiles in Creation Pinpoint, which include personal HCP blogs and specialist HCP forums, the majority of profiles are on Twitter. Twitter provides HCPs with a real-time environment for learning and collaboration that’s perfect for short updates sent via mobile devices. And with Creation Pinpoint, Twitter provides a wealth of insights into virtual online networks among professionals, and the topics that concern them.
So I was excited to see the latest Global HCP Twitter analysis produced by Creation Healthcare’s Chief Innovation Officer, Paul Grant. Paul has led some of our most groundbreaking data projects for medical clients, and is constantly pioneering new technologies for studying stakeholder behaviours.
In this latest analysis, we were able to visualise the worldwide growth in HCPs since Twitter’s launch in 2006, and to see the massive growth in HCPs on Twitter that took place in 2008, by plotting HCPs on a world map based on the date when they joined Twitter.
To put it in numbers, just 23 HCPs in Creation Pinpoint joined Twitter in 2006. The first three of these were based in the USA; Canada; and Scotland, UK. By the start of 2008, we currently know of less than 5,000 HCPs worldwide using Twitter. But by the end of that year, the number grew by over 500% to over 27,000 and has continued to grow to today’s figure of over 75,000.
In the growth curve illustrated in the video, it may appear that there is some tailing off of HCPs joining Twitter. In fact, it’s too early for us to know for certain whether this is the case since the algorithms in Creation Pinpoint’s “Big Data” Engine are tuned to prioritise the identification of the most active and engaged healthcare professionals. The graph shows only those 75,000+ HCPs who have already been double-verified through our system of automated selection and human review. Many HCPs who have joined Twitter the most recently are still being indexed or reviewed and tagged in Creation Pinpoint Engine (not for long though – we’re using brand new technology that will make our HCP big data grow even faster!)
By integrating data in the Creation Pinpoint Engine with other technologies including Brandwatch, we are able to study HCP conversations taking place in social media on any topic, and develop insights that are informing healthcare policy and communications planning.