US consumers seeking health information online are more likely to visit Wikipedia than health magazine websites or Facebook, connect through a PC rather than a mobile device, and be swayed by word of mouth over direct-to-consumer advertising, according to results from a new national consumer survey conducted by Makovsky Health and Kelton.
The research investigates consumers’ overall engagement with online healthcare information, and reveals specific consumer preferences for online publishing sources, channels and even devices, and finds that consumers rate government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Food and Drug Administration and advocacy organizations among the most credible.
“Whether they want guidance for an informed conversation with their doctor, or the support of a larger community coping with the same illness, consumers seek trusted sources for health information,” says Gil Bashe, executive vice president and Practice director, Makovsky Health. “These new survey results enhance our understanding of how and with whom consumers connect online, and help ensure that credible, useful information is readily accessible to the patients who need it.”
People are still most likely to use a personal computer (90 percent)—and not a smartphone (7 percent) or tablet (4 percent)—to search for health information online. And PC-reliant consumers are more likely than smartphone/tablet-reliant consumers to visit a pharma website after receiving a diagnosis from their doctor (52 percent vs. 31 percent), although smartphone/tablet users are far more likely than PC users (43 percent vs. 24 percent) to visit a pharma website after they experience a few symptoms.
Via Andrew Spong, Ignacio Fernández Alberti