Thanks to the Internet, a patient can now access information more quickly and easily. This gives him a more active role in all stages of his health care from prevention to treatment.

Even though the majority of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs (over-the-counter, over-the-counter drugs) are still bought in stationary pharmacies, online research and online purchases are becoming increasingly important.

The development of the Internet has fundamentally shaped the healthcare sector in recent years. Thanks to digitization, patients can obtain better information online and are therefore more responsible 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 healthcare and online searches for non-prescription drugs.

The patient informs himself more often

71 percent of patients do research online for OTC drugs. The patient is actively looking for information, 48 percent have actively looked up their symptoms online and 56 percent about possible treatments. He approaches his health in a much more holistic way. 26 percent are actively looking for broader content on the subject of health (well-being, nutrition, alternative medicine, etc.).

The patient more often makes his own decisions

Today’s patient takes responsibility for his or her own health. 38 percent do their research online before going to the doctor, and 34 percent check information from the doctor or pharmacist. He has an excellent network and makes quick decisions. 50 percent decide to buy within a few hours and 39 percent buy with urgency.

The brand itself can be questioned at any time

Consumers are increasingly confident that they can decide for themselves which solution suits them best and do not necessarily stick to a brand. 61 percent change brands from time to time or even believe that the brand is completely unimportant. The 35 to 54 year olds are more willing to try new brands (65 percent of them).

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.