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.

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Spending more money on TV ads doesn’t make sense

  • In 2019, people are expected to spend an average of 170.6 minutes each day on online activities like watching videos on YouTube, sharing photos on Facebook and shopping on Amazon. They’ll spend slightly less time — 170.3 minutes —watching TV.
  • In the U.S., however, TV is still king. Internet usage will not eclipse TV viewing there until 2020, according to Zenith.
  • Most advertisers are ahead of the curve, except pharma.. Globally, they’re expected to spend $60 billion more on internet than TV advertising in 2019.
  • 80 percent of Internet users, or about 93 million Americans, have searched for a health-related topic online, according to a study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

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