Key Opinion Leaders and the Difference with an Influencer

Many people do not know about key opinion leader. In simple words, a key opinion leader also known as KOL is a well-respected and trusted influencer with an experience and expertise which is proven one in a specific area or field and mostly medical field. In the area of healthcare, these key thought and opinion leaders could be hospital executives, physicians, health system directors, patient advocacy group member, and researchers and so on. One of the things that you will note about the key opinion leaders is that they come from a wide range of background and different roles. So, it can be become difficult to find out who these thought leaders are. 

Some of the ways in which you can distinguish them are as follows

Key thought and opinion leaders can be the one who speaks at a national conference or any national or local event. They can also be the one, who publishes their research in the medical journal. Key leaders are also those who have taken part in pivotal number of clinical trials. In addition, key thought and opinion leaders are the one who have held a place or position as a board member with certain organizations. Key opinion leaders can also be doctors who have diagnosed or treated high number of patients in a single day in some specialty area. If physicians are finding new treatments for the patients who have rare disease and publishing their related research in a medical journal, then they can also be called key opinion leader. 

Importance of KOL (key opinion leader) in Healthcare –

One of the things that you should know is that key opinion leaders have so much of experience. Due to this, they carry a significant influence within their community. In addition, you should know that KOLs are capable of generating awareness in people about the new device or drug and help in increasing the sales volume for the suppliers. They can also have impact on the purchasing decision within their own network or hospitals. Many pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies will most of the time consult with key opinion leaders about the various phases of testing and development. 

Key opinion leaders such as doctors provide insight to a specific state of disease, which comprises of existing treatments and there is continuous research. Besides that, they also assist in informing clinical trial design and product enhancements. 

Difference between Key Opinion Leader and Influencer –

Different people have different kinds of opinion when it comes to knowing whether the key opinion leader and influencer are the same or not. It is only because of their expertise in the field, key opinion leaders are trusted. In addition, this expertise which they have gained is through professionally long term experience. KOLs are the one who do not use social media. However, it can give them a powerful platform for influencing and others. 

Influencers are the ones who make most of their income through social media. The credibility of the influencers is based on the social media persona, plus the content, that they share. For followers influencers are like key opinion leaders. 

In short, most of the key opinion leaders are influencers and likewise, vice versa, but not every KOLs are influencers.