07.05.2019 | Insight

Pakistan: how healthcare professionals use social media

By Daniel Ghinn

Pakistan: how healthcare professionals use social media

Recently CREATION studied the digital behaviours of healthcare professionals (HCPs) in Pakistan to present our findings at PPMA: 4th Pakistan pharma summit. Using public social media profiles and conversations of more than 3,000 HCPs in Pakistan, we examined more than 1.6 million HCP-authored tweets. Learning from these HCPs’ behaviours and conversations presents an engagement opportunity for health stakeholders. See the full presentation below and read on to discover more:


A number of HCPs are particularly well connected with their professional peers as they have more than 7,000 following relationships between them. But they are not just following one another, they are also mentioning each other in their online conversations. There is a strong network of conversations happening as they mention each other over 20,000 times. HCPs in Pakistan are using public social media to talk to one another in a visible manner. By studying these public conversations, we discover what the interests, needs and concerns of HCPs in Pakistan are.

The Pakistan HCP network is also part of a wider global peer network. 3,000 HCPs in Pakistan are followed by more than 12,000 HCPs globally. They are not just learning and interacting with each other, but also with their global peers. These interactions are on all kinds of topics, including healthcare.

In looking to add value to and engage HCPs online it is important to understand what platform they are using. In Pakistan when posting to Twitter, most HCPs used Android devices or iPhones. Only a small percentage of tweets were posted using a web browser or other platforms.

However, there has been a shift in platform use by HCPs in Pakistan. Over the last 15 months, posting online using iPhones has been on the rise, not at the expense of Android but at the expense of the web browser. HCPs in Pakistan are increasingly posting online on-the-go using their mobile phones rather than using their desktop computers or laptops. This begs the question, how can content they are seeking be presented in a mobile friendly view?

Knowing how HCPs are posting is not the only way of improved engagement; another way is knowing what language they are using. Just over half of the posts were written in English language, while one quarter were in Urdu. In studying healthcare conversations we have often seen doctors using their local language to discuss local issues and to engage their national peers but they will switch over to English language either when they are addressing internal issues or seeking to engage with the global community.

HCPs in Pakistan often use hashtags or share links in their conversations. Links shared are usually to other social channels such as Facebook or YouTube, or to news channels such as Times of Islamabad, the Express Tribune and Dawn. Hashtags are used to join in a specific conversation topic or to follow these conversations. The most commonly used hashtag in the healthcare conversations was #health and there were also many others used for specific topics within healthcare that HCPs used such as #pathology, #cardiology and #diabetes.

Data on HCPs in Pakistan was collected and analysed using CREATION Pinpoint.

For the full report: https://www.slideshare.net/CreationHealthcare/pakistan-how-healthcare-professionals-use-social-media

Watch CREATION CEO Daniel Ghinn present this data live at the 4th Pakistan Pharma Summit held in Karachi, Pakistan, April 2019.

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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.