October 27, 2010
On any particular day, more people are searching for health-related information using Google than are asking the advice of doctors, says Dr. Roni Zeiger, the web search engine's chief health strategist.
"What amazes me is how much and how many people are looking for health information," Zeiger. "As a physician, it's overwhelming and incredibly motivating."
In a recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 29 percent of cell phone users ages 18-29, and 17 percent of users of all ages, searched for health information using their phones.
Three of the five top health searches using cell phones are "pregnancy," "herpes," and "STD," according to Yahoo. It could be that the cell phone search list reflects a younger demographic and the spontaneity of the search, said Susannah Fox, author of the Pew report.
"Health questions don't crop up at convenient times or in convenient places," Fox said. "Do these sorts of questions crop up more often when someone is, let's say, not near the computer?" she asked. These also could be "morning after" searches, she added.