Manhattan Research, LLCThe Internet's role is increasing in the patient-physician relationship and having an impact on which treatment decisions are being implemented. Still, the physician clearly remains the ultimate voice on this front. Be they the "cyberchondriacs" or the "cyber savvy," consumers in Europe are turning to the Internet for self-education, symptom checking, prescription medication comparisons, and disease education. Not content to just read up or become educated for personal fulfillment, millions are taking the next step to take that information with them to the physician office visit.

Nearly 150 million European consumers in the ten countries studied have accessed health information online; close to 100 million report they are talking about such information with friends and family. And, almost 50 million are talking with their personal physician as a result of the information they researched online. What other channel is driving 50 million consumers to initiate a conversation with their physician today? Although traditional mass media is clearly providing access to disease awareness for very large audiences, the strategic value of the online channel in Europe is clear - the audience is there and waiting.

Another strategic value of the online channel is to provide content that may not be possible through other traditional media channels such as TV and print. For example, companies seeking to educate patients about cancer diagnosis and innovative treatment options may ultimately come to the conclusion that the online channel often provides some of the most efficient access to a targeted audience of disease information seekers. Finally, capturing information at the point of engagement, such as immediately after diagnosis, can provide an opportunity to build a relationship and can truly drive a patient CRM relationship program that may continue for months or years to come.

Five Emerging Trends about European Consumer and Physician Use of New Media

1. Connecting to Physicians, on Their Terms

2. Leverage E-detailing as a Sales Force Supplement

3. Online Physician Portals Evolve into Clinical Resources, Beyond News

4. Empowered European Consumers Speak with Their Physician about Information Found Online

5. In the Absence of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising, Online Content Is Critical

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Source: white paper derived from Cybercitizen® Health Europe and Taking the Pulse® Europe
© Manhattan Research, LLC, 2007