STORY INLINE POST
We have noted a change in the doctor-patient relationship in the context of the digitization of health. We are experiencing a new normality in which the immediacy and evolution of the patient's habits have become fundamental elements in the relationship. Doctors must know how to take advantage to obtain the maximum benefit for the health of the people.
As a result of these changes, health specialists have begun to see the alternatives that allow them to have greater visibility online, so that patients who need it can find them quickly and easily through the web, but with confidence and the value that each doctor represents.
In this context, social networks are an important communication channel for service providers, although in Mexico their use has been mostly for entertainment purposes, their evolution has allowed users to search for products or services of their interest. Currently, 60 percent of the world population has a digital presence and 45 percent of users in the world turn to social networks when looking for products or services.
Although scheduling a consultation with a health specialist often requires the recommendation of third parties, social networks play a key role in the dissemination of information and the reputation of the medical sector. A good health marketing strategy and the proper use of social networks can ensure that communication between the specialist and the patient is carried out immediately and efficiently.
As part of a survey of of 10,013 people conducted by Doctoralia in 2021 in Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Spain and Poland (the main countries where the company is present), it was found that 22 percent of people in Mexico visit specialized platforms or recognized health platforms, while 18 percent seek answers through social networks, with Mexico the leading the country in using this communication channel for health issues. This is not surprising considering that Facebook is the second-most used platform by Mexicans, with 93 percent of users, according to Statista data.
In this same survey, people were asked about their preference in communicating with doctors, or on which networks they think health professionals should be present in the future. Thirty percent of Mexicans answered Facebook, 24 percent opted for Instagram and 21 percent ranked YouTube in third place. It should be noted that these three sites are among the Top 5 platforms that are most used by people in Mexico.
Similarly, in response to what they think health services will be like in the future, 63 percent of those surveyed in Mexico said they will be up to date with the most recent findings in medicine and 27 percent believe that technology will be used to improve the patient experience. For their part, according to data provided by a Médico Digital survey from Fundación Mexicana para la Salud (Funsalud), 68.42 percent of doctors use their mobile device to connect to the internet in their medical practice and 70 percent said they use these digital resources several times a day to connect to social networks.
Health professionals can approach digital marketing specialists to achieve an ad hoc strategy for their needs and their target audience, helping them to create a favorable digital reputation through the correct use of social networks.
On the other hand, Google searches related to health are increasing every year; however, when talking about health issues, it is recommended that patients consult specialists to have certainty in the answer and avoid self-medication because according to Funsalud, 9 out of 10 patients arrive at the medical consultation with information collected on the internet, and this often leads them to self-medicate with incorrect treatments that only aggravate the situation. For this, trusted sites must be created, where a validated specialist can share reliable information with patients. As an example of the growth of these sites, we offer an "Ask the Expert" section on our platform, where more than 371,000 questions from patients have been received and more than 728,000 answers have been given. More than 18,000 healthcare professionals have interacted on Doctoralia. Certainly, we are clear that these forums cannot replace a consultation with a health professional, but they do help to resolve specific doubts and to canalize a patient if required.
For patients to have a trusted place to talk about their health, doctors need to increasingly interact in the digital world. Both their presence on the internet and a digital reputation is essential for health specialists, clinics and hospitals. To do this, they must invest resources – and time – to be at the forefront of the health digitalization process and thus facilitate communication between them and patients, who are increasingly informed and equipped with tools that help make online consultation a reality.
A health professional who is adept at using digital tools has the possibility of bringing healthcare closer to those who need it most.