Patient-physician engagement using Twitter has nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic and doctors are increasingly engaging with patients on a wide range of topics, including impact of COVID-19 on regular care, racial inequalities in health care, and the safety and efficacy of vaccines. These key conclusions as well as other pivotal trends are part of our new report, Healthcare Trends During COVID-19: Changing Dynamics Between Physicians and Patients on Twitter.

The research was conducted using Symplur, a W2O technology platform. Using Symplur’s proprietary data taxonomy and Symplur Signals, the first social listening product designed exclusively for healthcare, W2O explored how the pandemic has impacted physicians’ connections with patients and their peers on Twitter, and the resulting healthcare-delivery changes. W2O chose to look at online conversation on Twitter exclusively as it is one of the best representations of the intersection of relevant conversation among patients, caretakers, healthcare professionals (HCPs) and public health officials.

Looking deeper at these more digitally savvy doctors, research found that doctors who engaged with patients and other doctors on Twitter had the highest number of telehealth claims in the first six months after the pandemic began, with increases ranging from 27% to 55 %. These results show that many of the physicians who are successful at leveraging Twitter as a communications platform are the same ones who have successfully adopted digital technologies to provide care to patients despite the disruptions of COVID-19.

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