Friday, July 13, 2012
Doximity tapping into deep rooted peer relationships
Image courtesy of Doximity
A couple of years ago we started noticing a striking trend. While adoption of physician-only social networks was growing relatively slowly, physicians were pointing to their colleagues and peers as a top resource for professional information and source of influence around clinical matters. The dynamics of peer-to-peer relationships among physicians are of course complex and run deep. As a physician I experienced this first hand. In fact, the Hippocratic Oath, which many know of as the ‘no harm’ dictum, also talks about the deep brotherhood and apprenticeship model of physicians: “To consider dear to me, as my parents, him who taught me this art; to live in common with him and, if necessary, to share my goods with him; To look upon his children as my own brothers, to teach them this art.”
We focused on the various components of physician networking in our most recent physician study Taking the Pulse® U.S. 2012. As mentioned in an earlier post, adoption of physician-only social networks remained flat between 2011 and 2012. However we discovered that physicians don’t use this kind of forum in part because they prefer one-to-one communications over one-to-many – common to social networking platforms when it comes to professional issues.
With this in the background, we recently had a briefing with Bob MacAvoy, SVP of Innovation at Doximity. As you may know Doximity was established in 2011 by the founders of Epocrates. We were very excited to learn that Doximity’s approach seems to center around facilitating activities or behaviors physicians already have rather than introducing new ones. For example, doing away with anonymity. Doctors have full profiles and are identifiable the way they are in the real medical world. Similarly Doximity has identified physicians’ continued reliance on fax transmission and instead of trying to replace this channel, introduced a feature that allows physicians to send and receive faxes directly from their mobile phones or the Doximity website. Other interesting features include built-in patient referral forms, hospital directories, and call schedules, as well as a multi-filter user database search tool. Doximity has developed a very interesting spatial visualization of how physician specialties are interacting with each other on the platform (see image illustrating one viewing angle of the interactive tool).
I was also impressed by the fact that physicians effectively claim their profiles which have already been built out for them rather than having to fill out long registration and personal information forms. I’d love to have that done for me.
We look forward to keeping an eye on Doximity and other physician-only social networks in our future research and seeing how this space continues to evolve.
Source: Bob MacAvoy, SVP Innovation, Doximity, Blog.Doximity.Com, Manhattan Research Taking the Pulse® U.S. 2012
Posted by Christina Anthogalidis, Principal Analyst