Online Health is definitely attracting eyeballs and the recent data released by comScore proves it. On an average, 31% of the total U.S. Internet users or 55.3 million U.S. Internet audience visited health information sites each month during the first quarter of 2007.
The online health segment grew by 12% in 2006. These sites are generating health consciousness among the users at a scale unknown before.
A survey conducted by JupiterResearch in 2007 on the behavior of the online health care consumers throws up some interesting facts. JupiterResearch estimates that almost two-thirds or 65% of the total U.S. online healthcare consumers click on the search results because they are relevant. Around 10% of the above Internet users conducted research for their spouse and 6% for a child.
Consumers seek online healthcare information mostly for specific health conditions, including depression (2.9 million unique visitors), bipolar disorder (1.8 million unique visitors), and insomnia (1.7 million unique visitors).
In Q1 2007, the top health-related search keywords were “pregnancy”, (was entered more than 17 million times), followed by “cancer,” “flu,” and “fitness,” each of which generated at least 15 million searches.
More than 66% of the online health researchers searched for information on drug side effects and 53% looked for drug safety information. Condition-focused information was sought by 53% of visitors, while patient information and support programs were sought by nearly one-third of all visitors (29%).
Approximately, 19% of the online health audience used their favorite site while searching for specific health-related information. This clearly indicates that there is no favorite site that serves everyone’s purpose and most information seekers use search engines. Google is exploring a Health Portal and vertical search engine.