The poor reliability of online health information

  • Many popular YouTube videos about prostate cancer contained biased or poor-quality information.
  • There was a significant negative correlation between scientific quality and viewer engagement.
  • The comments section underneath some videos contained advertising and peer-to-peer medical advice.
  • A total of 115 videos (77%) contained potentially misinformative and/or biased content within the video or comments section, with a total reach of >6 million viewers.
  • For online health seekers there is too much invalid health information and they are pretty much left to determine what’s based on medical knowledge and what’s garbage.

Continue reading

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

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.

Continue reading