Patients today access information via the Internet faster and easier than ever before. This gives the Internet a more active role in all stages of its healthcare from prevention to treatment.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines (over-the-counter, over-the-counter medicines) continue to be sold mostly in brick-and-mortar pharmacies, but online research and purchase is becoming increasingly important.

Digitization has fundamentally shaped the healthcare sector in recent years. Now patients can get better information online, making them more empowered and competent overall.

A visit to a doctor or pharmacy is not always necessary to get initial information about symptoms and possible treatments.

A study by Google provides new insights into digital usage behavior in the healthcare sector and on Internet searches for over-the-counter medicines.

The patient informs himself more often

71 percent of consumers research over-the-counter medications online. Patients actively search for information. 48 percent get information about their disease symptoms online and 56 percent even about possible treatments. Consumers take a much more holistic approach to their health. 26 percent actively search for broader health content such as wellness, nutrition, alternative medicine or similar.

The patient more often makes his own decisions

Patients are increasingly taking responsibility for their own health. 38 percent therefore research online before going to the doctor, and 34 percent even check the doctor’s or pharmacist’s information afterwards. Today’s consumer is extremely well connected and makes quick decisions. Fifty percent of sufferers decide to purchase a health product within a few hours, and 39 percent purchase them with urgency.

The brand itself can be questioned at any time

Consumers are becoming more confident in deciding for themselves what is best for them and their health. In doing so, you do not always remain loyal to one brand. This is because 61 percent change brands from time to time or believe the brand is completely unimportant. The 35- to 54-year-olds are the group most willing to try new brands.

Companies have to react to these changes

  • Analyze digital patient behavior for your products and indications. In addition to traditional market research approaches, you can also use newer tools such as Google Trends, Google Analytics and the Google Keyword Planner.

  • Make sure that your digital assets meet the needs of the digital, self-determined patient. This includes the provision and findability of desired information as well as digitally and mobile-optimized assets.

  • Consumers make quick decisions in the health sector and are always ready to change brands. Get him the right message at the right moment.

  • Give digital measures more space in your media planning.

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