More consumers making their own diagnoses online
The Internet is becoming a primary resource for people who are looking for health information, a study has found.
Around 7.6 percent—approximately 3.2 million —of Internet users view health category sites, including general health and pharmacy destinations, according to independent research conducted by Feedback Research, a division of the Claria Corporation.
Feedback divided the Web sites into three specific categories: drug manufacturers, drug brands and general health. The study was conducted from May 1 to August 1, 2004.
Results indicate that 89 percent of the consumers surveyed reported that they were satisfied with the health information they find online. Additionally, 80 percent believe the online health information is a credible and accurate as information from other resources like doctors, health books and magazines.
So what are the most popular health sites?
WebMD.com ranked top among all three categories, with 40.5 percent people using the site for their health research, according to the study. That means a lot folks are taking an interest in researching health issues via the Web. And the pharmaceutical industry realizes the power of online prescription drug advertisement.
According to the study, 45 percent said they found out about new drugs through advertising. And 47 percent said they would conduct an online search after seeing a prescription drug advertisement for a condition they care about.