MedFluencers today officially debuted its HCP Digital Market Value Calculator. With it, the company believes it has solved a problem that has long vexed pharma and health brands: How to fairly and consistently compensate HCP influencers, and in a Sunshine-compliant manner to boot.

According to MedFluencers CEO and co-founder Dr. Adam Goodcoff, the calculator is designed to make the process of paying HCP influencers more efficient and transparent. Previously, organizations that worked with these individuals attempted to assess fair market value — a nebulous concept in a media realm that continues to evolve at a rapid pace.

“Healthcare influencers aren’t just KOLs and they aren’t just regular influencers. They bring years of experience to what they do — residency training, a fellowship,” Goodcoff noted. “Everybody wants to come back to hours, but it’s not realistic to bill for the time the videos are being seen.”

The metrics for measuring their influence and paying them accordingly, then, should account for these distinctions. KOLs have traditionally been compensated commensurate with their professional experience and the amount of public speaking they’ve previously done. The value of HCP influencers, on the other hand, might instead consider their follower counts, engagement metrics, area of specialty (specifically, the number of HCP influencers within it) and breadth of influence (does their audience include HCPs as well as consumers?).

The calculator takes into account these and other indicators of influence, more than 20 in total, and updates its valuation as a HCP’s influence surges and ebbs.

Creating it wasn’t easy. “This is nothing new, but we’re in a highly regulated industry that’s cautious about things like this,” Goodcoff explained. “There’s been a continual battle with compliance [teams], who say, ‘We’ve always compensated on hours.’ So there has to be a slow adoption and understanding of the factors that go into this.”

Corey Martin, managing director of creator marketing at MedFluencers strategic partner Lippe Taylor, agreed, referencing the myriad challenges unique to pharma marketing. “Larger pharmaceutical companies and clients are a little antiquated. They don’t always factor in the industry of influencer creation and how we, as consumers, find information,” he explained.

That’s why he’s so keen on the prospect that pharma clients may finally have started to appreciate the value of influencer-created communities. “From my perspective, there are only three reasons to pay a creator: For their content, credibility or channel,” he continued. “The issue here, and the reason why this calculator is so needed, is that each of these things has independent value.”

Goodcoff and Martin are enthused by the early response from all interested parties – clients, would-be audiences and HCPs themselves. They’re particularly pleased by the objectivity and transparency they believe they have brought to a murky space.

“The calculator can’t be manipulated. You enter 20 variables and it spits out a value, and that’s it,” Martin stressed. “In the past you’d hear that somebody paid $150,000 for an influencer post and have no idea how they got to that number. Using the calculator, it’s very transparent from a Sunshine perspective.”