Patients Are Increasingly Using Digital Health to Supplement Doctor Visits
61% of patients reported that they were likely to ask for a specific prescription medication by name, implying research prior to appointments, with Millennials the most likely generational group to ask for a specific prescription medication by name (69%).
Consumers are increasingly leveraging online resources to both prepare for appointments and validate physician recommendations – moving beyond diagnosis to become more active in the treatment decision, according to new findings released from the Sixth Annual Makovsky/Kelton “Pulse of Online Search” Survey. Fielded to 1,035 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and older, data further reveal that while the doctor-patient relationship remains integral to the healthcare equation, patients are actively seeking information online to supplement their doctor visits.
Consumers reported an increased level of comfort in leveraging digital health tools to access medical advice and communicate with doctors. Forty-three percent of consumers reported using the internet to access advice from physicians or medical experts, and 45% of patients who use health-related apps were willing to use an app to communicate with their doctor – roughly the same percentage as those willing to use an app to track physical activity (44%).
When asked what information they would first research online about a health condition, the number of consumers who said “treatment options” increased by 21% from 2015 to 2016, while those who said “symptoms” decreased by 14%. 61% of patients reported that they were likely to ask for a specific prescription medication by name, implying research prior to appointments, with Millennials the most likely generational group to ask for a specific prescription medication by name (69%).
Doctors remain the most trusted source of medical information, trusted by 95% of consumers; however, following a doctor’s visit, 62% of patients reported being likely to research a prescribed treatment online, while 53% reported being likely to research an alternative treatment to the one prescribed by their doctor.