No matter what symptoms, diagnoses or treatments people face today, more and more of us are turning to Dr Google for information and reassurance. Maybe we’re looking for some form of comfort, maybe a second opinion, maybe we just want to know more without the need to ask questions out loud? Either way, it’s a fact of life today that more and more of us are looking to our mobile phones, laptops and desktops when it comes to digging deeper on our health.
At PhysioWizard® we find this really interesting, because what we’re about is using technology in the cleverest way to improve patient outcomes. That means we’re really interested in finding out more about what people really think of Dr Google.
With this in mind, in order to better understand what people think of Dr Google, we carried out a study and asked a sample of people a range of questions in order to get their view on online health solutions. We found their responses quite revealing.
Here are just some of the questions we asked:
Question: Have you previously looked up information about your back on the internet (Google)?
Response: Out of 56 respondents, 35 confirmed that they had looked for information about their back on Google, whereas the remaining 21 had not.
Question: Did you find the information on Google: Helpful or Not Helpful?
Response: 35 people responded to this question, with 23 of them saying that they found the information helpful and 12 did not find it helpful to them.
And this is where our survey got very interesting, because we then asked the question: Were you able to find the right information to help you manage your back problem? 34 respondents answered this question which had 3 possible responses: Yes, No or Unsure.
Out of the people who responded, 5 said they were able to find the right information to help them manage their back problem, 10 said they weren’t able to and 19 were left unsure after their search.
We then dug deeper on the trust they had in the information that they sourced from Dr Google by asking: Did you trust that the information you found on Google was accurate for your problem? Once again we had 34 respondents, 4 of which said yes; 10 said no and 20 were unsure. One respondent left a comment saying that they felt there was no substitute for professional knowledge.
So what does this tell us?
At PhysioWizard®, we found these responses incredibly reassuring.
Because they clearly demonstrate that people are comfortable turning to online solutions when they have a health issue. They also appear to be relatively happy with the high level information that Dr Google gives them, but when it comes to drilling deeper they are typically left feeling disappointed or dissatisfied.
How does this help us achieve our goals at PhysioWizard®?
These findings help to reassure us that our vision is realistic and fits well with where consumers, patients, call them what you prefer, are on their online health journey. They are already turning to Dr Google, which means that they’re happy to reveal their fears, worries and symptoms online. However, perhaps overwhelmed by the overload of information or perhaps lacking the direction needed to get to the right solution, many leave their online search without feeling as if they’ve significantly moved forward. But what if these same people’s enthusiasm for online solutions was more guided, more targeted and came with a human support? There is where we believe the magic lies. We believe that technology plus human intervention is a magical and highly powerful combination. And the great news is - that’s exactly what our PhysioWizard® solution provides.
If you’re an Occupational Health professional, Private Health Care provider or are in the Public Health Sector and would like to find out more about how PhysioWizard® could make life easier for you and your patients, why not request a demo?