The emergence of digital resources in the healthcare system has changed the healthcare experience for U.S. consumers. Online health, consumers’ use of digital resources for health research and care management, is evolving from an info-seeking resource to interactive services and tools that facilitate patient decision making and care management. With pervasive connectivity and the growing market around the seamless transmission of health data among patients, providers, payers, and health systems, consumers have access to digital health resources on multiple screens, in many locations, for an array of health scenarios.

As digital marketers look to execute a more sophisticated patient engagement strategy, they should focus on continuously demonstrating value to the patient. Many marketers must quit solely fighting for broadcast space to promote products, as this is just one tactic, and also begin to leverage the appropriate digital channels that patients access across their health journey to reach patients in their moment of need.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • What is the state of online health adoption in the United States and how has it evolved? More consumers are online for health than ever before and are leveraging digital resources for sophisticated tasks like decision support and care management. Digital health is expanding beyond solely using the internet for information-seeking activities to include health management activities as well.

  • How does the internet influence consumers’ choices in healthcare? One in three consumers believe they get better care when they do online research before seeing a doctor. 39% of consumers who accessed prescription drug information online discussed prescription drugs with their doctor.

  • How are consumers using traditional and emerging digital channels for health information? More than half of U.S. online consumers own a smartphone; how are consumers using this device and apps for health care choices? What role does social networking and websites such as YouTube, pharma, and general healthcare websites play in consumer’s health choices.


Primary research: online survey of 8,605 consumers in Q3 2013.

Author(s): Rory Stanton