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More Individuals Turn to the Internet for Self-Diagnosis


Almost one-half of all US internet users turn to the internet for information and additional self-diagnosis after paying a visit to their physician. Their main source of information: a search engine. Only 20% actually go to a specific health website, such as webmd.com, in order to learn more about their doctor’s diagnosis and to find out about specific treatment options. A little over one-third of internet users trust what their doctors say and fill the prescription, without bothering to participate in any self-education.

This provides a great deal of opportunity for marketers seeking to grab the attention of potential customers. Almost 30% of respondents stated that ads which provided information about a certain condition would be the most likely to grab their attention. Creating advertisements which serve as an educational tool would be extremely effective for companies in attracting their target market. 28% of internet users also looked for information about medication side effects and safety. Overall, consumers in general seemed to prefer medical information over free trial offers (18%).

These statistics show that more and more individuals are turning to the internet each day for self-help and self-dianostic purposes. Pharmaceutical companies in particular should capitalize on this trend and educate consumers through their advertising campaigns.

Source: eMarketer, August 10, 2009


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