NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–W2O Group’s MDigitalLife (http://mdigitallife.com/) today announced results of a new analysis of physician behavior on the social networking platform Twitter from January to December 2013 showing that 20 percent of cancer-related tweets were focused on breast cancer. This volume of conversation is almost as large as the next four most-discussed types of cancer combined (prostate cancer, 10 percent; lung cancer, 8 percent; skin cancer, 5 percent; colon cancer, 5 percent).
“Physicians’ use of social media is quickly becoming mainstream, which is a good thing because research shows that patients trust online content from doctors more than from anyone else”
The analysis, based on MDigitalLife’s database of verified U.S. doctors and their Twitter handles, will be included as a publication-only abstract as a part of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) 50th Annual Meeting, which is taking place in Chicago from May 30 to June 3.
“Physicians’ use of social media is quickly becoming mainstream, which is a good thing because research shows that patients trust online content from doctors more than from anyone else,” said Greg Matthews, Managing Director, MDigitalLife. “While high-profile cancers, such as breast cancer, continue to dominate online conversations, doctors involved in treating other types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma, are following the lead of the breast cancer community. As a result, physician conversations about multiple myeloma on Twitter have more than quadrupled between 2012 and 2013.”
Other key findings include:
- 82,383 cancer-related tweets from 4,155 different U.S. physicians were posted in 2013.
- Discussions spiked in June (around the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting) and October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month).
- Physician discussion of cancer topics grew by about 20 percent during 2013.
- Most tweets on cancer-related topics came from medical oncologists, who accounted for 23 percent of all cancer tweets, followed by surgeons (13 percent), internists (8 percent) and family physicians (6 percent).
The analysis used W2O Group’s proprietary MDigitalLife database, the world’s first and only database that maps physicians’ digital properties to their official government registries. This ensures that attribution of data (earned media and data such as Medicare billing, referral and prescription data) is accurate. The W2O Group uses this asset to aggregate and analyze millions of data points to understand physicians’ attitudes, behaviors and connections on any topic.
The use of social media has become an increasingly important topic among oncologists; a 2012 paper by a working group composed of members of the ASCO Integrated Media and Technology Committee in the Journal of Oncology Practice offers guidance for oncologists wishing to use new technology, encouraging “oncology providers and institutions to learn more and engage in this ongoing evolution.”
The analysis of 2013 tweets was done by Greg Matthews, Brian Reid and Kayla Rodriguez of W2O Group and Michael Thompson, M.D., Ph.D., a hematologist/oncologist at Aurora Cancer Care and Medical Director of Early Cancer Research at Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin.
MDigitalLife reveals how physicians around the world are using digital and social media to improve the health of their patients, the success of their practice, and to regain their voice as a critical player in the health system. Digital communication tools have become increasingly important in the health system, yet little effort has been put into quantifying the type and volume of online conversations. MDigitalLife is the world’s first and only database that maps physicians’ digital properties to their official government registries. This allows the team to aggregate and analyze millions of data points to understand physicians’ attitudes and behaviors on any topic. Additionally, MDigitalLife has incorporated physician demographic data (e.g., medical school and graduation year) and clinical behavioral data (referrals, prescriptions and Medicare billings).
About W2O Group
Founded and led by Chairman and CEO Jim Weiss, W2O Group is an independent network of complementary marketing, communications, research and development firms focused on integrated business solutions to drive change and growth through “pragmatic disruption” for the world’s leading brands and organizations. W2O Group serves clients through a network of firms –WCG, Twist, Brewlife and W2O Ventures – through offices in San Francisco, New York, Austin, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Boston and London.
Follow W2O Group on Twitter
Find W2O Group on Facebook
Read our CommonSense Blog