73 per cent of GPs and 84 per cent of specialists expected to see an increase in their use of online medical journals, found the new research. Nine out of 10 doctors already seeing online sources on a par with traditional print journals.
Social media is already central to the role of one in six doctors and they predict digital communication and information sources, such as e-detailing and virtual meetings are to increase substantially.
One in five has been actively reviewing forums, one in 20 has written a blog and nearly half of specialists have used Wikipedia at work.
Predictions for the future of healthcare are `virtual health experiences' before booking an appointment and an increase in the patient choice agenda, both enabled by developing Web 2.0.
The research survey was conducted online with a national sample of 547 GPs and hospital consultants.
Red Door Communications MD Catherine Warne said the findings provide the pharmaceutical industry with an exciting opportunity to expand the way they communicate with their customers.
`The opportunity will be realised if we fully understand the needs of our audiences and deliver information in a way that meets these,' she said. `While we're all looking to the PMCPA for guidance on how we do this; the web is moving on. By the time the guidance is available, it could well be out of date. '