The majority of Kiwis are using the internet or social media to access health information, with females and those under forty most likely to educate themselves online.
New research from Southern Cross Health Society, of 2,000 New Zealanders, shows the 57% of people clicking their way to health information used it to:
· look for information about a medicine (59%)
· get advice on a condition that they have, or may have (56%)
· look for information to make a self-diagnosis (45%)
· get advice on a condition that a family member or friend suffers from (39%)
· look for information about a hospital or clinic (23%)
Peter Tynan, Southern Cross Health Society CEO, says the Southern Cross experience marries up with this data.
“In the last year (to November 30, 2014), there were over 4,000,000 visits to Southern Cross websites, and over 55.5% of these were to our medical library,” he says.
“We certainly encourage people to use quality online medical information to educate and reassure themselves about conditions that they or their loved ones have.
“We would however urge caution on self-diagnosis and encourage people to visit their GP if they have any concerns about their health.”
Data shows that the types of devices used to access Southern Cross material online is also changing with a strong increase in access from smartphones.
In the last year:
· Desktop access decreased 23% to 63.7%
· Mobiles and smartphones increased 48% to 23.9%
· Tablets has also increased 29% to 12.4%.