Healthline ranks its top 10 mobile, online health searches in 2011
Smartphones and tablets may be prized for their mobility, but they also offer a certain degree of privacy that’s attractive to people conducting health searches.
That’s one of the conclusions reached by Healthline Networks, the San Francisco-based health search and information services provider, which recently released its list of most-searched health terms during the past year.
"Consumers are clearly getting more sophisticated about how to find the most relevant, trusted information as they take control of their health," said West Shell III, chairman and CEO of Healthline Networks, in a Dec. 19 press release announcing the results. "Our data illuminates the different ways people are looking at information across the patient pathway. On desktops and laptops, consumers are searching for complicated issues and often accessing rich visual media to get more educated about a condition. With mobile devices, people are often searching for conditions that are very private in nature and seeking quick answers."
According to the survey, searches conducted on mobile devices tend to focus on private matters, like sexually transmitted diseases, mental health issues or other sensitive subjects. The Top 10 list reads as follows:
- Bipolar disorder
- Smoking/quitting smoking
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Vitamin A
According to Healthline Networks officials, most searches on mobile devices are done at night, between 9 and 11 p.m. March had the highest rate of mobile traffic and searches, with both spiking between March 30 and April 1 – at the same time that Tylenol issued a recall of its eight-hour extended release caplets and concerns surfaced about radiation contamination in Japan following the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.
The survey also found that people had more important matters on their mind during the weekends. Weekends ranked lowest in search volume, while Wednesdays were most popular.
More broadly, people using health search tools online focused on personal health and more serious conditions, with leading search terms related to cancer and diabetes. The Top 10 lists reads as follows: