Skipta™ Anyone?

According to Manhattan Research, 71% of physicians use social networks. So it should come as no surprise that colleagues are the top source of medical information for practicing physicians, trusted above all other online and offline sources. Understanding the influence of colleagues, one must conclude that online social media platforms will quickly rise as one of the prominent go-to sources for all things professional. Stated simply, online social networking expands a physician’s circle of peers.

Just like consumers, each physician is unique and will select a social portal based on individual preferences and needs. There are a number of factors that physicians will consider when seeking to join a community. Obvious factors include closed-loop verification (members are validated professionals), potential risk (liability concerns over offering clinical advice and protection of patient privacy) and usefulness (content is relevant, learning improves patient outcomes, enhances career development).

  • 38% of physicians use online peer-to-peer networking for professional purposes
  • On average, users of professional social media sites indicated 230 uses per year
  • Physicians who do not see sales reps are less likely to use a physician social networking site for professional purposes (21%) than their counterparts who do see sales reps (39%)
  • Doctors in the 45-65 age group noted more annual uses than both their younger and older counterparts (source: Kantar Media)

With professional use of peer-to-peer networking on the rise, several Ning-like hosting companies catering to the healthcare space are emerging. Skipta™ is one to watch. Skipta™ helps organizations interested in engaging with medical professionals underwrite and launch structured communities.

Skipta™ caters to specialty demands and launched their first professional healthcare community in December 2010 with the Pharmacist Society. The portal boasts over 46,000 verified members, including registered pharmacists, students, and pharmacy school faculty members.

Several additional communities are on the docket for 2012 targeting urologists, primary care physicians, dentists, physician assistants, and registered nurses. All members are validated as medical professionals and students and qualified for relevance to the particular group. With Skipta™, the features of each community are based on research and completely tailored to the unique needs of the specific medical group. The company has also formed a partnership with WebMD that allows in-frame access to Medscape content right from the Skipta™ environment.

Skipta™ Features

  • Virtual whiteboards
  • Real-time chat (including groups)
  • RSS news aggregation
  • Social search engine
  • Video conferencing
  • File sharing (Dropbox)
  • Cloud-storage and sharing capabilities
  • Peer survey and polling
  • Job and employment listings
  •  Integrated calendar functions (national, regional and local conferences and events specific to the field)
  • Cross-platform accessibility (desktop, smartphone, tablet)
  • Cross-connection based on interest and sub-specialty (i.e., Diabetes Network)

Working with Skipta™, financial support from industry ensures the appropriate features are in place and physician concerns ranging from privacy to liability are addressed. Engagement opportunities for the sponsor include:

  • All community members automatically linked to sponsor group page
  • Survey and polling tools
  • Direct advertising and promotion
  • Digital library to house patient handouts, product information, company and product postings, co-pay cards, coupons, etc.
  • Video
  • Webinars
  • eDetails
  • Calendar integration to auto-populate company initiatives, product launches and attended conferences
  • Self-administered messages and alerts
  • Disease state-specific sponsorships

Supporting a robust and structured community should be of great importance to our clients. Proprietary data proves the power of syndication. Interaction rates with brand and company assets are significantly higher when hosted outside the brand site. Establishing a point of access to a validated group of professionals with a greater share-of-voice compared to traditional medical portals is invaluable in today’s cluttered media landscape. Insights gained from peer-to-peer dialogue drives real-world competitive advantage.

What value do you see?

To find out more about Skipta™ or structured communities, contact your Ogilvy CommonHealth Medical Media representative today.

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