Today, approximately 80 percent of Internet users look to the web for health-related information information. This puts it behind only email and using a search engine as the most common reason for using the Internet.
According to research conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project and the California HealthCare Foundation (CHFC), the number is only growing, with Internet users finding ever more health-related reasons to venture online.
The top five most popular subjects for health-related searches include the following, in order of frequency/popularity:
- A disease or medical problem: 66%.
(The top five issues include: shingles, gallbladder, gout, hemorrhoids, and lupus.)
- A certain medical treatment or procedure: 56%.
(Common terms include: pain relievers, anti-depressants, high blood pressure medication, corticosteroids, and hysterectomy.)
- Doctors or other health professionals: 44%.
- Hospitals or other medical facilities: 36%.
- Health insurance, including private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid: 33%.
The research revealed that those most likely to look to the web for health information are caregivers, women, whites, younger adults, and adults with at least some college education. But that is changing as the rise of wireless mobile devices enables other groups such as young people, Hispanics, and African Americans to increasingly pursue information online.
Is your web presence prepared to serve these searchers? How about for the growing population of limited English proficient (LSP) patients? If not, it might be time to consult your language services partner.
Till next time,
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