Pew Internet just released their new nationwide study – Health Online 2013.
When you get past the more obvious things like 81% of US adults use the internet and 59% say they’ve looked online for health information in the past year, there’s some good actionable learning for healthcare marketers to integrate into their planning. Some highlights include:
1. In the past year, 55% of internet users have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have. Pew refers to this segment as “online diagnosers.”
2. Nearly half (46%) of these people felt that the information found online led them to think they needed the attention of a medical professional.
3. Nearly 8 out of 10 health inquiries (who Pew refers to as “health seekers”) started at a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo. This trend has remained steady since Pew’s first study in 2000.
4. The social life of health information is reflected in the fact that 26% say they read or watched someone else’s experience about health or medical issues in the last 12 months.
5. But among people looking for health advice, traditional offline conversation with clinicians remains high. 70% of U.S. adults got information, care, or support from a doctor or other health care professional.
I think there’s good information here for healthcare marketers to takeaway for consideration. Some of these include: how to create more value through your marketing, where your online efforts might be focused, how patients might access service lines, how to connect prospective patients and physicians and even for creating potential partnerships and affiliations.
Hope you find some good thought-starters here.