Online Surveys Lead to Quicker Marketing Diagnosis, a provider of market data for healthcare companies and research firms, said this week that it had recruited more than 5,000 physicians to participate in online surveys on an on-call basis.

Most of the company's clients still do research with paper surveys and phone interviews, said Jonathan Kay, president of Jstreetdata, Washington. But because that process takes so long, it is often impractical to do market research on an emergency basis, such as when a product receives bad press and the company needs quick feedback.

Kay would not specify which clients his company has served since it launched in October. He said the client list includes large pharmaceutical and medical device firms along with small research boutiques and contract research organizations.

“The key thing is, we didn't create any sort of demand that didn't exist,” Kay said. “We've taken something incredibly inefficient and made it more efficient for everyone involved.”

Jstreetdata's service is helpful in those situations because it has doctors ready to go online to fill out surveys, which can be tallied quickly, Kay said. The company pays doctors $50 to $200 for each survey, which are designed by its clients.

Kay said his company can reduce the time it takes to conduct market research from one to two months to one to two days. Jstreetdata expects to have a total of 10,000 physicians, representing primary care physicians and all specialists, on call to do market surveys by the end of the first quarter of 2001.

Doctors do not have to schedule appointments for phone interviews nor mail their surveys back to the researcher, so participating takes little effort on their part, said Jeremy Brody, CEO of Jstreetdata. The company ensures that they receive their payments within 10 days, whereas doctors normally would have to wait between 30 and 60 days to receive payment for survey participation.

“A lot of doctors would like to participate in research surveys but don't because it's inconvenient,” Brody said.

Doctors can sign up to participate in market research at Jstreetdata's Web site, where they must fill out a questionnaire that details their demographic information, including education, specialty, location and average number of patients seen per week.

The demographic information is used to give Jstreetdata's clients the ability to determine what types of doctors are eligible to fill out their surveys. The doctors are not obliged to participate in any particular study, but Kay said physicians can expect to fill out at least one per month.

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