We have been tracking the online healthcare professional (HCP) pancreatic cancer conversation for over a year but in a time when then the word unprecedented may be getting worn out, we are seeing unprecedented changes in the way HCPs diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer.
Sharing data and studies at congress has been a large part of many online conversations, with ASCO often being the highlight of the annual calendar of any oncology conservation. This year, as did many other medical conferences, ASCO went virtual.
Research and treatments key congress topics
We have been tracking five key themes over the past year: research, treatment, survivorship, prevention and policy. At ASCO 2020, as with most other congresses, the HCP conversation usually focuses on the latest research, particularly relating to treatments.
Virtual congress affecting online conversation?
The overall volume of HCP conversation on social media at ASCO 2020 was lower than 2019 as well as the specific pancreatic cancer conversation. Overall there was a 56% decrease in online conversation from ASCO 2019 to ASCO 2020. Taking into account 2019 was a five day conference compared to three days in 2020 the decrease in daily average was only 27%.
The virtual factor may have played a part in this, as it is not the first congress this year to have had less engagement, however there are a number of other factors.
2019 olaparib study overshadows 2020 studies
One of the key reasons identified for this difference was the studies presented. Last year results for an olaparib study created a lot of buzz among HCPs, this treatment alone being mentioned more than 200 times. In 2020 there were some interesting study results in pancreatic cancer but nothing as groundbreaking as last year.
Lower engagement with and from organisations
Another factor in the 2020 conversation was the lower level of engagement from pancreatic cancer organisations which featured highly in the ASCO 2019 conversation.
@letswinpc 71 HCP mentions during ASCO 2019, 21 during ASCO 2020
@pancan 53 HCP mentions during ASCO 2019, 37 during ASCO 2020
@officialpca 32 HCP mentions during ASCO 2019, 4 during ASCO 2020
The nature of virtual congress changes HCP conversations
When looking ahead to the changes that virtual congress will bring we asked a number of HCPs in cancer treatment what they will miss about not being at ASCO’s meeting in person, and what they look forward to about the virtual setting. Their response was unanimous: real interaction.
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