Dr. Ogbru is the founder of RxEconsult, LLC, a social network for healthcare consultants (experts) and clients (employers). Over the last 12 years Dr. Ogbru has held several roles in the pharmaceutical industry, including Director of Global Medical Information and Communication and has written several journal articles.
RxEconsult is a free global business social network for healthcare consulting and a source of credible member generated medical information and business information. It provides an online community where healthcare consultants (experts) and clients (employers) connect so both parties can succeed in achieving their goals. Members can find or post healthcare jobs. They can promote themselves or business through their profile, community forum, and also by contributing articles in their area of expertise. RxEconsult is a business social network, blog, and job board all rolled into one platform designed to help clients and consultants connect, consult, and succeed. Members can promote themselves via their profile, videos, links to their websites, promotional documents or resumes, blogging, participating in forum discussions, building a network, and advertising.
MO: Why did you start RxEconsult?
Dr. Ogbru: Thank you for this opportunity. A few years ago I was between jobs and wanted to expand my part-time consulting service but could not find any good leads. As a pharmaceutical industry employee I also noticed that it was challenging to find the right consultants for projects. Colleagues had also expressed the same frustration in finding experts or opportunities for themselves. It occurred to me that this problem can be solved with a social media platform where consultants (experts) and clients (employers) can connect.
MO: RxEconsult has over 100 members from across the globe and covers several areas of healthcare, how long has it taken you to put together this network and how quickly do you anticipate it to grow?
Dr. Ogbru: It took a little over a year from conception to launch. I initially tested a basic website to see if there was interest and to learn more about building a virtual business. It was officially launched September 29, 2011 and in less than 2 months the community is approaching 200 members and growing. The feedback has been very positive. I anticipate that growth will be slow at first because RxEconsult is a niche network, a new concept, and it takes time to generate presence on the web. Organic growth takes time and my marketing budget is small. I am very encouraged by how many members are joining each week from across the globe and the breath of expertise. Once we reach a certain critical mass growth will be much faster.
MO: What made you choose the social media platform for your site?
Dr. Ogbru: I must confess that before I embarked on this journey I was a casual observer of social media but I understood its advantages. My Facebook and Linkedin pages were rarely visited. Twitter was just a nice sounding word. Now I visit all three networks frequently.
The more I thought about the problem I wanted to solve the more it made sense that a social media network was the solution. I could not think of a better way to connect people globally so they can promote themselves, network, learn, teach, find opportunities and be successful.
MO: How are you going to take feedback from users and implement it back into your site?
Dr. Ogbru: Periodically I will send a survey to the community to solicit their input. I am part of the community and I have invited members to my network who I ask for feedback. Members can also send suggestions via the contact us feature or to me via my profile. By following the discussions in the forums I will also learn what the community needs.
MO: Why do you think it is so challenging for healthcare companies and healthcare consultants to connect?
Dr. Ogbru: If there is no market place for farmers and customers to meet it will be very difficult for farmers to sell their goods and for customers to find food. Imagine driving to every farm to find the ingredients you need to make a meal. The grocery store solved that problem for us. The healthcare industry is very diverse, complex, and highly regulated. It takes many experts for our healthcare system to function and companies do not always have the expertise, and it does not make sense to hire full-time employees for every project. Healthcare consultants are entrepreneurs who provide specialized services but do not have a marketplace. Employers are not exposed to the universe of experts or cannot find them in a timely fashion because there is no marketplace. RxEconsult is the marketplace where healthcare consultants and employers meet and conduct business.
MO: Do you think there is a growing trend between social media and health care? If so, how do you anticipate this trend evolving?
Dr. Ogbru: Health care is a fundamental need. Our health care system has many challenges globally. Technology is making certain things possible that were not possible before. One of the major benefits of social media is the collective wisdom (information) that is generated by the community and how easily members can tap into this knowledge. Applied to health care this is a very powerful phenomenon. I see the healthcare industry embracing technology more and finding creative ways to extend expertise across the globe.
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