BURLINGTON, Mass., Nov. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- AI-powered technologies such as voice search, voice assistants and chatbots are beginning to impact how patients and caregivers find info about diseases and treatments and manage their care, according to a new study of healthcare consumers' digital behavior. DRG Digital - Manhattan Research's Cybercitizen Health® U.S. 2017 study of 6,001 U.S. adults found that:

  • Voice search is changing how patients find information. Already, 1 in 4 smartphone owners use voice search to access information on their smartphones. Given the long tail of voice search, healthcare brands will need to adapt to this fast-moving shift and optimize their digital properties to remain findable in an increasingly voice-driven world.
  • Strong market potential for voice-activated health management, with half of those surveyed (51%) expressing interest in doing so, and 45% of those interested in using voice assistants for health saying that these technologies will change how they manage their health. Interest in using voice assistants for health needs is even higher in some key condition groups, with 69% of Crohn's disease patients and 61% of patients who suffer from depression expressing interest. As adoption of these devices continues to increase, healthcare brands will need to understand how they can use them to address patient needs and what tech partners can help them do so.
  • Chatbots could soon serve as digital health information valets, thereby patching a critical hole in the acquisition funnel for healthcare brands. 31% of U.S. adults leave a website if they can't find the resources they need within a few clicks. Chatbots could provide them with a shortcut to information they are looking for. 32% of U.S. adults say they would prefer using automated chat features to navigate a website rather than spending time searching through the site on their own.

"The healthcare industry is notoriously slow to catch up with new technologies, but AI-powered tech shows great potential to modernize and improve care. For patients, AI promises a whole new user experience, faster access to care, a new source of medical advice and health management support," said DRG Senior Digital Analyst Gintare Greenfeld. "On the flip side, physicians are going to have to start coordinating care with Dr. Siri or Dr. Alexa."

It may be many years before healthcare applications of AI reach maturity, but these technologies are already beginning to permeate everyday life. Healthcare companies should be exploring their potential to act as care extenders in the home setting.  

Cybercitizen Health® U.S. 

Cybercitizen Health® U.S. is an in-depth study of how patients and caregivers use technology and media sources for health; how they find info and make decisions at different stages of the patient journey; and their attitudes towards emerging healthcare issues. The 2017 study was fielded online in Q2 2017 among 6,001 U.S. adults (18 and older) across 50+ condition areas. Contact digital@teamdrg.com to learn more about the study or to talk to an analyst about findings.

About DRG Digital | Manhattan Research

DRG Digital, a part of DRG, is the life science industry's partner for data-driven customer engagement and commercial innovation. DRG Digital's Manhattan Research studies have been the industry's go-to source for physician, patient and payer multichannel planning for more than 15 years. Brands, marketers and digital teams at 40+ leading life sciences companies rely on our experts, research and analytics to understand their customers and engage them with the right channels, content and messaging.

Visit www.DRGDigital.com or follow @DRGDigital to keep up to date on our analysts' thinking and access eBooks, infographics, webinars and other resources.

About Decision Resources Group

DRG, a subsidiary of Piramal Enterprises Ltd., is the premier source for global healthcare data and market intelligence. A trusted partner for over 20 years, DRG helps companies competing in the global healthcare industry make informed business decisions. Organizations committed to the developing and delivering life-changing therapies to patients rely on DRG's in-house team of expert healthcare analysts, data scientists, and consultants for critical guidance. DRG products and services, built on extensive data assets and delivered by experts, empower organizations to succeed in complex healthcare markets.

To learn more, visit www.decisionresourcesgroup.com.

Contact: Maureen Malloy, 212-414-7534, mmalloy@teamdrg.com

Decision Resources Group Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Decision Resources Group)

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