TECH/CONSUMERS: Internet health use survey, with UPDATE

For you survey geeks, Cisco sponsored a study of Internet use in health care among patients. Here’s the press release & here’s the detailed results
If anything the “demand” numbers look lower than in some other surveys (things like wanting to use email with docs, access lab results, etc). But the “supply” numbers (those doing that) are much lower, of course.

UPDATE: I got a really good comment/question about this from Dirk at Aurora IT. "Those numbers really seem to conflict with most of the other
healthcare-related Internet use surveys I’ve seen. Do you buy it or
rather them?"
  So here’s my answer to Dirk, given that this type of survey is absolutely in my wheelhouse.

I’m looking into it. Hopefully the Cisco guys will share more data with me. They did this survey through one of their main mkt research vendors who isn’t too well known in the obscure part of the survey world that focuses on consumer health care IT use. I don’t know if they have good data to compare it to historically on the same questions, but I kind of doubt it. My first take is that the numbers saying that they can get services from their doctors are a touch higher than usually reported–but that may be an indication that these services are spreading (finally!!). The demand side numbers seem to be quite a bit lower than I’ve seen from other surveys, especially Harris over the years. (e.g. Harris has reported more than 70% wanting their lab results online both in 2001 and 2002 –I think they did it again more recently but I can’t find it). But that seems to be connected to the way that they’ve asked the questions, and frankly it’s unclear how they’ve done that from the results reported. (multiple choice vs most important on the question "Assuming these services were all available from your primary care provider, which would be most important to you?"). But we’re way down in the weeds of survey methodology here.However, the good news is that this is new data on the right topics, and I’ll ask the Cisco folks if they can share a little more of the results.But kudos to Cisco for researching into this–especially as they don’t sell anything that directly relates to it.! As you can tell, there’s a paucity of good data about the specifics  of who does what and who wants what in this arena, and they’re helping to fill those holes. And given the amount of people who are offering solutions in this space, well it’s clear that more needs to be known about what consumers really want rather than less!

1 reply »

  1. Those numbers really seem to conflict with most of the other healthcare-related Internet use surveys I’ve seen. Do you buy it or rather them?