Over Half Go Online For Health Information

    January 15, 2008

More than half (59%) of U.S. adults use online resources to obtain health information according to an iCrossing study "How America Searches: Health & Wellness."


More than three quarters of people said health care professionals are their most trusted health resource but Internet resources are considered more trustworthy than friends/coworkers, pharmaceutical companies and television.

Thirty-four percent of health searchers use social media resources to research health related topics, with Wikipedia, and online forums and message boards the most important individual tools. Social media attracts 18-to-34 year old health searchers in particular, while men over all are more likely than women to use online social media to research health issues.

Two-thirds of online adults have used general search engines such as Google and Yahoo to find health related information. Usage of health specific search engines such as Healia and Medstory is minimal by comparison.

The study concludes," To take full advantage of opportunities to connect with in-market health consumers, content must be available in and optimized for a range of formats, and ideally should comprise a truly interactive component that allows consumers to socialize."

"In order to maximize relevancy, content should be oriented around the health topics that most preoccupy consumers, such as symptoms, treatment, conditions and wellness issues including exercise, nutrition and weight loss."