The rise of the healthcare influencer


Influencer culture has well and truly taken over the internet. From food and fashion to gaming and technology, thousands of online influencers all over the world have built up large and active audiences in almost all industries.

In our line of work, there is another type to watch out for – the healthcare influencer. Physicians, patients, and caregivers are all tapping into the power of social media to communicate with one another and increase awareness about certain issues that are important to them. Among their followers, they are seen as trusted authorities and are helping to generate broader conversations about diseases, conditions, and general health and well-being.

There are numerous benefits for pharmaceutical companies in the healthcare influencer space. Working with these individuals not only yields pertinent insights about what they want and need. By listening to their conversations, pharmaceutical companies can leverage the patient perspective in the design, development, and promotion of their products and services, and build authentic one-to-one relationships. There’s just one challenge – healthcare influencers have different profiles compared to traditional Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs).

Physician influencers

HCPs 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).

• Read the full article in pharmaphorum's Deep Dive digital magazine