While some professions took to social media like a duck to water -- journalists immediately recognized Twitter as their forever home -- physicians were understandably reluctant to jump on board, given all the liability and privacy issues. Seeing an unfulfilled need, in 2011 Doximity launched a professional social network for physicians that allows them to communicate with each other in full compliance with HIPAA rules. Among other things, Doximity members can tap the expertise of other docs to learn more about conditions and treatments as well as job opportunities, conferences, and the like.
The network is clearly serious about security: while Doximity pre-populates its national directory with practice information from the National Provider Identifier, Medicare, and other HHS databases, all physicians who want to access their profiles are subject to a three-stage identity verification. Once on board, they can search Doximity members by clinical interests, hospital affiliations, specialties, languages spoken, insurance accepted, and PubMed citations.
Now Doximity claims to have reached a significant milestone with 250,000 members, or roughly 35% of all doctors in the U.S. (that’s up from 30,000 users towards the end of 2011) and members are sending 10,000 messages to other members every day. In an interview with VentureBeat, Doximity CEO Jeff Tangney said: “This essentially means Doximity will get doctors the answers they want faster, and more reliably, than a simple Google search. Doctors can ask a critical mass of their peers any number of questions ranging from drug interactions to specialist advice, and it points to the demand and hunger for specialized, vertical social networks that meet an unmet need.”
According to VentureBeat, Doximity also rolled out a number of new features in 2013, including a recruiting tool called Talent Finder, an API for easier authentication, a “digital fax line” (docs are still big on faxes), and a continuing medical education platform.