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Survey: Americans Not Using Mobile Tech for Health Information

September 20, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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According to a new study, U.S. consumers seeking health information are more likely to visit Wikipedia on their PC than any other method of research. The study, conducted by research firm Makovsky Health and Kelton, looked at consumers’ overall engagement with online healthcare information and aimed to reveal specific consumer preferences for online publishing sources, channels and even devices.

 “The macro-trend – globally and in the U.S. – is moving from web to mobile. Yet, when it comes to healthcare, data show the desktop search is vastly preferred, meaning the newest channels might not be best for healthcare marketers,” Tom Bernthal, CEO of Kelton, said in a statement. “These survey data shed light on where companies should invest to engage consumers in cost-efficient, yet effectively engaging ways.”

The study of 1,001 Americans ages 18 and older in July 2012, found that 90 percent were likely to use a personal computer to find their health information, while only 7 percent were likely to use a smartphone, and 4 percent a tablet.

The trust factor has websites such as WebMD consumers trust advocacy group and government agency websites (e.g., CDC or FDA). According to the poll, 35 people trust WebMD as a source of health information compared to 33 percent who said they trust advocacy group and government agency websites. Overall, 56 percent of respondents use WebMD for healthcare information, 31 percent visit Wikipedia, (up from 13 percent in 2011), and 29 percent visit health magazine websites online.

The survey found that social networking sites are utilized by far fewer Americans for healthcare information: Facebook (17 percent), YouTube (15 percent), blogs (13 percent), and Twitter feeds with links to other resources (6 percent). 

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