The quest for online health information

  • Nearly 80 percent of the patients who looked up things online before seeing a doctor reported that their searches actually improved their experience. (Source: Anthony M. Cocco, a doctor at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, and the lead author on a recent scientific study about the search habits of people before they show up in an E.R.)
  • In one study, researchers found that only one of the top 54 results for “endometriosis” — the subject of over 4.5 million searches annually — led to a page that contained what was deemed to be accurate information about the condition.
  • The study’s author recommends skipping the kind of scientific papers you might find on Google Scholar or PubMed; they often contain unusual cases and bewildering terminology.

Continue reading

Social media & BOTS in DTC

Last week I attended some research whose objective was to measure online health seekers’ attitudes towards the use of social media and BOTS for drug and medical device companies.  The research was qualitative and consisted of of all demographic groups.  They didn’t hold back and were willing to discuss how, why and where they go online for health information.  Here are the topline results. Continue reading

DTC ads: Patients do pay attention but they don’t lead to desired action

unknownKEY TAKEAWAY: Target audiences are paying attention to DTC TV ads, but the results are not what DTC marketers want.  DTC TV ads increase awareness of new products and lead to visit to pharma product websites, but patients “comparison shop” treatments and even when they ask about/for a product it’s still up to their doctor to determine which one is right for them. Continue reading