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Article: The rise of the healthcare influencer

Paul Reed & Basil Feilding - December 2022

Published in Pharmaphorum Deep Dive, November 2022

Online patient influencersHCPs use a wide variety of digital channels to connect with the medical community. According to WHPRMS, almost 60% of doctors use social media for professional use to explore medical information. As a result, it is possible to identify a cohort of qualified and practising physicians who have the ability to communicate to and influence an extensive online HCP and patient community with many thousands and even millions of followers across different platforms. Research Partnership refers to these HCP social media influencers as Key Online Influencers (KOIs).

The healthcare industry needs to recognise this powerful breed of influencers. If they are able to identify the correct KOIs, they have an opportunity to develop and nurture mutually beneficial relationships, which benefit the KOIs, pharma brands, and commercial goals.

Pharma companies usually have a clear idea about how KOLs can support product and brand developments, and have established methods of developing necessary KOL engagements. But as you can see from our example above, online influencers exhibit quite different profiles.

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