79% of Hong Kong physicians prefer E-Channels when accessing medical-related information

Ruder Finn Public Relations and Ipsos Release 2014 Physicians Digital Outlook Survey

HONG KONG, Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The 2014 Physicians Digital Outlook Survey was released by Ruder Finn, one of the world’s largest independent public relations firms, and Ipsos, the third largest market research company in the world. The study focuses on the online behavioral patterns of physicians and the evolution of social media usage across greater China, assessing the outlook for medicine promotion and doctor-patient relationships in the digital age.

The report surveys approximately 700 physicians from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. 41 percent of Hong Kong interviewees work in public or private hospitals, 36 percent in clinics with sole ownership and the rest 22 percent in clinic with partnership. The physicians surveyed varied in level; 42 percent were associate professor/SMO/associate consultant, 40 percent were consultant and 18 percent were MO/residents.

2014 Physician Digital Outlook

2014 Physician Digital Outlook

Going digital and mobile to access medical information

According to survey results, 79 percent of Hong Kong physicians preferred to use digital channels to access medical information. With 38 and 33 percent engagement, drug websites and e-newsletter were the top channels for accessing medical information. Drug information, such as side effect or clinical study, was the most important topic to 87 percent of physicians, while 84 percent of physicians valued medical news.

Mr. Adrian Mak, Research Director of Ipsos Healthcare Hong Kong said, "Online resources are convenient, and save physicians’ both time and money, but 50% of doctors have issues on creditability; 41 percent of those surveyed were concerned that e-channels were not sufficiently academic, while 34% said information could be bias. Compared to 2012, many companies now recognize the importance of digital communication, and some international corporations are becoming increasingly digital-focused. Survey results show that Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Roche were the top three companies in terms of use of e-channels, including forums, company websites, e-newsletters, and mobile medical apps.

Ms. Elan Shou, Managing Director and Senior Vice-President of Ruder Finn China, said, "With the development of mobile online platforms, initiating a digital reform in the present medical system is crucial. Hong Kong doctors are already taking the lead. Pharmaceutical companies will soon find the value of leveraging digital channels for better interaction and engagement with doctors – it may even replace the traditional, high-cost communications activity, such as pharmaceutical representative visits, worldwide academic promotions, patient education, and community screening.

E-Diagnosis: Important, but not useful

When it comes to leveraging the Internet for diagnosis and treatment, physicians in Hong Kong excel their counterparts in mainland China and Taiwan. 91 percent of Hong Kong physicians and 86 percent in Taiwan showed a positive attitude toward online resources, compared to only 60 percent in mainland China. Almost half than 50 percent of the physicians have changed their diagnosis bases on the new information seen from online resources or tools.

Mr. Adrian Mak commented, "On the one hand, the credibility and privacy of online medical resources require improvement. On the other hand, the quantity and variety of the current mobile apps is highly appealing. The survey indicates that there are relatively few diagnosis and treatment apps available, which explains why only 19 percent of the Hong Kong physicians use mobile apps in their daily work. 84 percent of doctor-patient communication is still conducted via telephone besides face-to-face communication."

Mr. Jefferson Hou, Vice President of the Ruder Finn Healthcare Practice, said, "Major companies such as Google an Apple are now beginning to invest in the mobile healthcare industry. The Internet and mobile devices are driving innovation in healthcare products and services, medical management, and doctor-patient relationships. Today, the medical industry is becoming increasingly segmented, leading to proved national healthcare reform overall.

About Ruder Finn

Ruder Finn is one of world’s largest public relations firm with offices in the United States, Europe and Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Deli in Asia. The agency provides comprehensive and diversified communication service via its global networks to more than 250 companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations. Ruder Finn has always been the symbol of "outstanding communication". It now has four areas of expertise: Health & Wellness, Corporate & Public Trust, Life & Style and Global Connectivity.

The customers of Ruder Finn Asia Health & Wellness strategic platform include GE Healthcare China, Mead Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi and Weight Watchers. Corporate & Public Trust customers include L’Oreal, Founder Group, Michelin, Boeing, Bosch, Volkswagen, Citi Bank, Singapore Economic Development Board, Visa, Lanxess. Life & Style platform serves customers like Cartier under Richmont Group, Givenchy under LVMH, and also Hermes, B&O, Lamborghini, Tod’s, Breitling and Jumeirah, while the Global Connectivity platform provides service to customers including DHL, Emirates Airlines, Hawker Beechcraft, etc. The four strategic platforms are strongly supported by Ruder Finn’s award-wining sections. RFI, for example, provides aids in interaction, social media and online public relations. For more information, see www.ruderfinn.com or www.ruderfinnasia.com. Chinese-language website: http://cn.ruderfinnasia.com.

About Ipsos

Founded in 1975, Ipsos is now world’s third largest survey-based research groups and is headquartered in Paris, France. With companies in 84 countries and regions, the research business covers over 100 countries all over the world. The company delivers research on advertising, marketing, customer loyalty, media and public affairs and data collecting and processing service. It now has six areas of expertise: advertising research, marketing research, media research, public affairs research, satisfaction and loyalty research and data collecting and processing. The research specialists, with their international outlook and in-depth knowledge of market and commercial institutions over the world, are committed to providing service of high quality and added-value to customers. More information about Ipsos is available at www.ipsoshk.com .

About Physicians Digital Outlook Survey

Ruder Finn and Ipsos have cooperated the physicians Digital Outlook Survey since 2013. The annual study focuses on the online behavioural patterns of physicians and the evolution of social media usage, assessing the outlook for medicine promotion and doctor-patient relationships in the digital age. The interviewees of this survey are from the greater China (including mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) and firstly included Indian this year.

Photo – http://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20141110/0861408318-e

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