If you think that a Get-Paid-To platform called MedPanel is for medical professionals, you’re right. But that’s not the reason to just dismiss it if you don’t belong to that profession. Even if you are just a patient (as nearly all of us are), you can take advantage of it – at least that’s what they claim. So, here’s a review that will get you all the relevant information about MedPanel.
What Is MedPanel?
MedPanel is a market research company owned by MCF Corporation, with 20 years of experience in providing market insights about healthcare to their clients from all over the world. They have offices in Cambridge and Los Angeles. But even though they are based in the US, their activities are not limited to US residents (as many of their competitors’ are). You can participate from Europe and Asia as well.
If you are suffering from a rare disease, you can also join their Rare Disease Matters projects, where they are organizing live focus groups to gather information about the patient journey and common pain points.
How Does It Work?
For those who aren’t familiar, let’s see what a Get-Paid-To platform means. Just like the name says, you will get paid to perform different kinds of activities. That way, the company gets valuable insights into your behavior as a customer (or in this case, medical professional), your preferences and purchasing or life habits. In return, you will get a certain compensation, just to make it worth your while.
Take a look at all activities you can do on MedPanel:
- Focus groups (online or live)
- Phone interviews
- Online surveys
- Mixed methodologies
Who Can Join and How?
To start, click the “Join” button located in the header menu, near the top right-hand corner. Upon the standard registration process, you will be prompted to choose your employment type. There’s the first catch: the drop-down menu doesn’t offer the option of a patient, even though their landing page claims that patients are welcome to join too. Since I am not a medical professional, I went with “Other” and then opted for Managed-Care Insurer and Payor. Physicians, healthcare professionals, pharmacists, decision makers and nurses seem to be their primary target, as you will see from my experience.
There’s also a possibility that they currently are on the lookout for some actual professionals, which doesn’t make me the right person at the moment. It’s a common issue that will get you disqualified from many market research panels. You just never know what kinds of research they are currently engaged in. And that determines the type of participants they will be looking for.
When I completed the form, I couldn’t access my user dashboard to see if there are any surveys or activities available. It appears you just have to wait for them to contact you via email when a relevant study pops up.
Their website is not very user-friendly, unfortunately. For example, there is no Login button on the homepage. To find it, you have to click “Join” and then go to the upper right-hand corner, where there’s an option to log in. Not a very inviting interface, it seems.
Another thing I don’t like about the website is that there is no FAQ section. So, the portal offers no way to resolve common concerns and issues.
How Much Can You Earn?
First and foremost, you will be earning cash – just like with MedSurvey, a similar platform with access to US residents only. Getting cash in return for your effort doesn’t come by default in the market research industry. Most GPT platforms offer some other kind of compensation or gratuity, such as gift cards. So, this is definitely a huge pro.
When you take a look at the amount of money you can earn, it gets even better. The honorariums range from $15 to $140 per project – definitely far above the industry standard. The amount will vary based on length and complexity of the activity that you are part of. However, they are not very prompt with paying. It might take up to eight weeks to process it.
- It seems they are not very exclusive. Healthcare professionals and experts appear to be most welcome, but you can join as a patient too. In addition, they aren’t nearly as exclusive as most survey panels when it comes to the participants’ location. You can join from US, Europe and Asia.
- They pay in cash, and the sums are very nice. Most survey takers prefer to be paid in cash instead of gift cards or abstract currencies. The honorarium amount is pretty nice too. Even if you earn up to $140 only once or twice a year, it still hits the mark of making some extra money on the side. And all of us know that nobody ever managed to quit their day job and replace it with taking surveys.
- You can participate in different activities. You may prefer online surveys, focus groups, phone interviews or something in between. Along with an email invitation to participate, you will always get the information on the reward, topic, methodology and duration.
- It seems that medical professionals are in demand the most. In spite of their claim that you can join as a patient too, they appear to prefer physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other professionals.
- Their website should be much better. I’m not sure if the lack of information is intended or just a coincidence. Since they are a specialized panel, it’s absolutely understandable that they don’t need an immense number of participants. But their screening is rigorous enough to prevent most people from becoming members, so it would still be nice to get some basic information for those who manage to get in. Also, there is no user dashboard that would let you know about your status and if there are any earning opportunities ahead.
First things first – the company is absolutely legit, and they really do what they claim they do. They will handle your sensitive information with due care and discretion, without manipulating or selling it to third parties.
However, it’s debatable whether you should join or not. As someone who is just a patient and has never had a job related to medicine and healthcare, I didn’t have any luck. Maybe they did put me in a patients database and will contact me as soon as I fit their requirements for a project or study. But it still hasn’t happened, as of this writing. When or if it happens, I will update this post.
If you happen to be a medical professional, you can join and maybe you’ll get lucky. As I said above, even if it happens just a couple of times a year, it should still be worth your effort.