Top 10 health searches from mobile devices in 2011

By: Chris Gullo | Dec 16, 2011        

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Healthline mobile searchHealthline, a consumer health search engine, published a list of 2011′s most-searched health and medical terms via both desktop computers or laptops (web searches) and via mobile devices (mobile search). The published data reveals significant differences in what consumers search for from the privacy of their mobile devices vs. from PCs. Top mobile searches included keywords related to more private issues like sexually transmitted diseases and mental health topics.

Healthline’s search technology is integrated into a number of consumer and provider websites, including Yahoo! Health, Aetna, AARP, Sharecare, and United Health.

Mobile search data revealed that March was the busiest month of the year for mobile searches, possibly because of that month’s recall of Tylenol’s 8 Hour Extended Release Caplets and the Japanese earthquake’s consciousness-raising on the health effects of nuclear radiation. People are less likely to search for health and medical information on the weekend. Most searches take place mid-week and most searches on mobile devices are — like web searches — likely to occur at night between 9 PM and 11 PM.

Below is Healthline’s list of top health-related searches via mobile devices during 2011:

1. Chlamydia
2. Bipolar disorder
3. Depression
4. Smoking/quit smoking
5. Herpes
6. Gout
7. Scabies
8. Multiple Sclerosis
9. Pregnancy
10. Vitamin A

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Read on to see the top ten health-related web searches and to read the entire press release.

The Top Ten Web Searches of 2011:

1. Cancer

2. Diabetes

3. Symptom

4. Pain

5. Weight

6. Infection

7. Virus

8. Diet

9. Thyroid

10. Sleep

Read the press release below.

PRESS RELEASE – Healthline Networks, the leading health search and information services provider, today released the most searched health terms across the Healthline HealthWeb in 2011, revealing that peopleusing desktops and laptops search for more serious conditions, such as diabetes and cancer. The company also found that consumers turn to mobile devices tosearch for private issues, such as those related to sexually transmitted diseases and mental health conditions.

Every month, about 100 million consumers use Healthline and its HealthWeb partners to search for medically accurate health information. Healthline’s Medically-guided search technology is used on leading health information destinations including Yahoo! Health, AARP, Sharecare, United Health, Aetna and many more. And on these trusted sites, consumers have access to Healthline’s additional tools such as in-depth videos, 3-D animations, learning centers and wellness guides that illustrate many of the top Web searches in a more meaningful way.

“Millions of consumers use Healthline’s medically accurate search technology, and we’re seeing that more people are taking their personal health into their own hands–literally searching for health information from their handheld devices,” said West Shell, chairman and CEO of Healthline Networks. “Our data illuminates the way people are looking at health information. On the Web, consumers are searching for complicated issues and often view corresponding visual tools to help further educate them about the condition. With mobile, people are searching for conditions that are very private in nature and often are seeking quick answers.”

Healthline’s semantic healthcare taxonomy not only provides insight into specific queries, it classifies and can aggregate search volume by semantic type – disease, symptom, drug, treatment and more. Viewing the search types by semantic category, consumers most often search for diseases; on average diseases are searched for at a rate of five times higher than symptoms, nine times higher than food and 13 times higher for a brand name drug.

Healthline’s 2011 search data also demonstrates unique user behavior when it comes to searching for health information via the Web or mobile devices. Overall results include:

Top Web Search Data

Consumers use health search tools, powered by Healthline, on the Web to find key information about personal health, with leading search terms related to cancer and diabetes.

1. Cancer

2. Diabetes

3. Symptom

4. Pain

5. Weight

6. Infection

7. Virus

8. Diet

9. Thyroid

10. Sleep

When consumers search for health information online:

• August had the highest rate of health-related Web traffic and searches overall.

• The biggest spike of search activity was between Feb. 12-15. At this time, Avastin, the breast cancer treatment, was pulled from use by FDA, and the 2012 budget for healthcare was being discussed by President Barack Obama.

• Personal health is top of mind in the beginning of the week, and dramatically falls on the weekends. Desktop and laptop users search for health information the most on Monday, and the least on Saturday.

• Consumers dive into health issues after the workday: Web searches are also being performed at night, between 8-9 p.m.

Top Mobile Search Data

Searches on mobile devices tend to be about private conditions, with many of the leading searches related to sexually transmitted diseases, mental health and other sensitive subjects.

1. Chlamydia

2. Bipolar disorder

3. Depression

4. Smoking/quit smoking

5. Herpes

6. Gout

7. Scabies

8. Multiple Sclerosis

9. Pregnancy

10. Vitamin A

When consumers search for health information on their mobile devices:

• March had the highest rate of mobile traffic and searches.

• Mobile traffic spiked between March 30-April 1, when two major health news items broke: the recall of Tylenol 8 Hour Extended Release Caplets and the growing concern of radiation from Japan’s nuclear power plant that resulted from its catastrophic earthquake.

• Saturdays are not the day for health search, even on mobile, as the weekend ranks lowest in search volume. Most mobile health searches take place mid-week, with Wednesday being the peak.

• Most searches on mobile devices are – similar to Web searches – performed at night, between 9-11 p.m.

About Healthline Networks

Healthline Networks is the fastest growing provider of intelligent health information services, enabling 100 million consumers a month to make more confident, informed healthcare decisions. The company’s proprietary consumer healthcare taxonomy, the largest of its kind, powers a suite of intelligent health search, content and advertising services. Combining advanced search technology with deep medical expertise, Healthline partners with a network more than 50 trusted destination sites that include publishers, portals, search engines, employers and health plans. Headquartered in San Francisco and named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 in 2010 and 2011, Healthline is backed by Aetna, GE/NBC Peacock Fund, Investor Growth Capital, Kaiser Permanente, Reed Elsevier, U.S. News & World Report, and VantagePoint Venture Partners. For more information, visit http://www.healthline.com.