'Indian doctors go online more than US ones'

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 10 Maret 2013 | 22.23

Apart from the ubiquitous white coat and a stethoscope , Indian doctors now have another favourite accessory-the internet.

A survey looking at the net-surfing habits of Indian doctors shows over 90% of those interviewed turned to the World Wide Web for information , entertainment or transactions (see graphic ). Doctors were big subscribers to professional networking or personal networking sites.

With the digital age set to change the world of medicine , the survey provides an insight into the Indian doctor's readiness to adapt . The survey does show Indian doctors are hooked on to the internet-withhalf of the1,500-plus doctors logging in several times a day . "Indian doctors' online behaviour shows a marked departure from online behaviour patterns of Indians in general ,'' said Swadeep Srivastava of Via Media Health , which conducted the survey . The number of doctors using a popular search engine was almost double the average Indians using it. Ditto with a social networking site.

The reason for desi doctors' obsession is easy to find . Dr Aniruddha Malpani , director of Health Education Library for People , said , "Doctors have the money to access smart devices . As they are academically oriented , they surf for information . They value information .''

The survey , however , underlines a major difference between Indian doctors and their US counterparts : percentage of American doctors using search engines is far lower than Indian doctors . "This is perhaps because US doctors have direct access to relevant websites,'' said the survey . Most American institutes and medical associations invest in developing independent websites with certified information , India hasfeworiginalcontentsites .

Delhi-based endocrinologist Dr Anoop Misra agreed . "Doctors in India are equally or more net-savvy as they learn new medical knowledge mostly from the net because there aren't enough continuing medical education programmes ,'' he said .

But surfing alone doesn't make for a digital doctor . The main test, Dr Malpani said , is for doctors to be publishers in the digital world . "When Indian doctors start offering India-specific content , they will provide long-term solutions in healthcare ," he said .

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