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Report shows rapid adoption of mobile devices driving increase in social media use among doctors

Doctors are increasingly becoming more active on online networks and social media sites. A report (.pdf) released this month by QuantiaMD Frost & Sullivan and the Institute for Health Technology Transformation and the Care Continuum Alliance shows nearly 90 percent of physicians use at least one site for personal use, and over 65 percent for professional purposes

The findings are a bit surprising considering that a study (subscription required) published earlier this year in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found 41.6 percent of doctors actively use social media sites.

A story published yesterday by American Medical News examines the dramatic rise in social media use among physicians and suggests that the growing number of doctors carrying a smartphone or mobile device may be a contributing factor:

Many physicians adopted smartphones for personal reasons and then found ways to use them in their professional lives. A report published May 4 by Manhattan Research said that 81% of physicians use smartphones.

Similarly, as personal social media use grew, in part because it's easy to access from a mobile device, physicians started thinking about ways to incorporate social networking into their professional lives.

"Physicians are one of the most mobile of all professions," [Nancy Fabozzi, health care market research and competitive intelligence specialist with Frost & Sullivan] said. Her organization, Frost & Sullivan, said 75% of 63 health care professionals surveyed use social media for business purposes.

Previously: Doc, you have a new friend request...from your patient, A conversation with 33 Charts' Bryan Vartabedian about professionalism in social media, How patients use social media to foster support systems, connect with physicians, Physician urges colleagues to think twice before they tweet and How to respond to patient contact on Twitter: A physician's advice

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