People are increasingly turning to Dr. Google for their health concerns
Dr. Google to the rescue?
What’s the first thing most of us do when we experience an unusual health symptom? We turn to Dr. Google and listen to what the world wide web has to say.
The public’s overreliance on the internet to uncover health-related information is a frequent cause for concern. In fact, over one-third of people living in the U.S. routinely use online symptom checkers for both routine and urgent conditions, including chest pain.
Volkskrankheiten are the most searched terms
Now, here is a little bit of trivia for you. What do you think the most frequently-Googled health-related search terms are?
According to our analysis of Google Trends data, cancer, allergies, diabetes, and headache are searched for the most across the globe.
This might be a little surprising, given the fact that all these terms fall into what us Germans might coin classic “Volkskrankheiten” (common diseases).
More interestingly is that most of these common diseases have grown in search interest over the past decade, illustrating the accelerating role the internet plays in giving us health-related information.
The impact of the Internet
Comparing Google search volumes of each major disease in 2021 vs. 2010, headache and neck pain are the two symptoms that have grown the most in popularity.
Both of these pain sources might be directly related to people’s longer average screen times, especially with our mobile phones. As per eMarketer, the average U.S. adult spends 3 hours and 54 minutes on their mobile devices each day this year, up from less than 3 hours back in 2015.