Online health seekers attitudes (Data)

screenshot_239POST SUMMARY: The Kelton/Makovsky 2015 Survey has some great nuggets of information on how people are making healthcare decisions.  Here are some good data nuggets…

 FINDING: When it comes researching new medical conditions they had just developed the information that health seekers would look up is symptoms(37%) followed by treatment options (24%).

INSIGHT: Symptom trackers, via websites, could help consumers determine if they need to see a HCP. However, most symptom trackers are too general for real utility.  DTC marketers should try and ensure that their symptom quizzes and trackers provide insight rather than aid to confusion forcing health seekers to spend more time online.


FINDING: The majority of patients (63%) hear about medications they are taking from their doctor even though 23% are likely to ask for a specific medication by name.

INSIGHT: The physician is still the gatekeeper when it comes to recommending medications but don’t discount insurers influence to recommend changes to Rx’s based on cost and stage of treatment.

FINDING: When it comes to motivations for asking about a specific medication by name 25% said it was due to an advertisement while 30%  said it was due to hearing about it on the news.

INSIGHT: Media stories about medications are everywhere from TV to online news sites.  DTC marketers should capitalize on the “buzz” around these stories via updated content on their websites. A process should be developed to ensure that this content can be posted while patients are reading about it instead of relying on processes that can take weeks.

FINDING: 51% of consumers would be willing to pay more for medications if there was date that showed the medication was more effective than older medications.

INSIGHT: Use callouts to highlight the effective of your product but rather than just use data use real patient stories.  Also consider content on other websites (health portals) with real patient stories around your medications effectiveness.


FINDING: 88% of patients would be willing to share personal health information to better understand a disease or improve care and treatment options.

INSIGHT: This is what the Internet is all about today, sharing.  Rather than ignore these people we should be talking to them and asking for their help to share their experiences with other patients.

FINDING: 67% (49% a little bit, 18% not at all) of survey respondents said that they would not trust a disease site sponsored by a pharma company.

INSIGHT: DTC marketers need to focus on the quality of their websites not the quantity.  Thought leaders, along with 3rd party health content providers, should be recruited to write content and the content should be labeled as being written by a healthcare provider.