KEY TAKEAWAY: Online health seekers feel overwhelmed with the quantity of online health information and often don’t know who to trust on social media to help them make informed and educated decisions. Pharma websites are often a stop on the search but don’t have enough information to help online health seekers make a final decision.
We’re more than three-quarters complete with our quantitative research on the behavior of online health seekers. Here are some top-line findings that have been confirmed so far:
1ne: The first experiences of looking for online health seekers are often met with confusion and frustration as they search for specific answers to their questions.
2wo: Millennials often make treatment decisions based on what they find online as the health information empowers them.
3hree: Drug company product websites are sometimes a stop during the search for health information but don’t contain enough information to help them make a decision.
4our: Social media is becoming a bigger part of health information online but trust is also a major issue. The best social media information are posts in which users post links to credible medical information.
5ive: Caregivers feel that there are very few resources for their needs when it comes to helping them deal with the stress of being a caregiver.
6ix: The majority said that they would sign up for an email newsletter if it contained good medical information that was written for them.
7even: Content from medical schools or HCP’s was most desired when reading online health information.
8ight: The mainstream media often has too much conflicting health information leaving seekers to fend for themselves to find the truth.
9ine: Boomers trust their physicians to help with healthcare choices more than Millennials. In addition, Millennials feel stress when they have health problems because they want to make a choice quickly.
10en: There is a real need to have two-way communication with HCP’s to ask questions without the need for an appointment. Millennials are willing to pay for this service, Boomers were not.
I see a lot of huge opportunities here for healthcare providers as well as pharma companies. Try and put yourself in the place of an online health seeker and start looking for specific questions to certain questions and you will experience the puzzle of online health.