Update from ICON regarding COVID-19

The Internet has an abundance of medical information and various discussion forums. The technology that allows reputable scientists and doctors to publish reliable medical information to the world at very low cost also allows other unqualified sources to produce and disseminate misinformation, pseudoscience, and quackery.

If you type “pins and needles” into Google, what kind of results can you expect to find? According to a recent study from Bupa Health , the search engine could diagnose you with anything from a completely reversible vitamin B12 deficiency, to sciatica, or worse, multiple sclerosis.

Entering “stomach cramps” into Google returns indigestion, appendicitis, or something as serious as heart disease or angina. Even a condition as benign as a rash comes up with dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, or much more serious diseases such as meningitis.

Some other facts regarding people searching the web are:

  • Four in five Australians are turning to the web for health information – otherwise known as Dr GoogleDr.-Google
  • Nearly half of those are using Dr Google to make a self-diagnosis.
  • Women are twice as likely to consult Google for a health diagnosis as opposed to a real doctor — but apparently one in four women end up misdiagnosing themselves from the information they get on the Internet
  • 31% of Smartphone owners say they’ve used their mobile to look for health information online
  • An international survey conducted by health insurance provider Bupa also found that of the 80 per cent of Australians who use the net to research health issues, 70 per cent also seek information about medicine

Dr Christine Bennett, Chief Medical Officer of Bupa Australia, said of the Australian study into online health research results highlights the importance of people accessing online information from high-quality, credible resources.

“While the internet undoubtedly provides people with greater access to resources, it’s essential that they access high-quality websites and content to empower them to make informed decisions about their health,” she said.

There is always going to be the questions as to whether medical service providers should have a website. If you do have a website, you need to ensure your patients, potential patients and referrers have access to the right information about your specialty or service and that your website can be found online, meets AMA standards and is informative and educational.

Other interesting facts about Medical Websites
In 2013 mobile phones are the most common device used to access the internet. In Australia, 60% of all mobile users have smartphones and are increasingly accessing content on their smartphones.

  • Mobile technology doesn't display your website on a smartphone the same way it looks on a standard computer screen or laptop. A non-friendly mobile website might not fit neatly on a patient or customer's phone screen, requiring extra scrolling and making navigation difficult.
  • The smartphone is fast becoming the first point of research for a majority of internet users. More and more customers are beginning their “research” process on their mobile phones.

Facts tell us that “Mobile search” isn’t a “trend”. More and more people are going to be searching your website via mobile.

A mobile medical website design is a different version of your site built with easier navigation so that users can better browse your site on the smaller screen of a smart phone or tablet. Although it looks different than the website’s “computer” version, it contains all the same pages and contents. The key to a medical website that gives users the best navigation experience on a mobile device is responsive design.

Responsive Design means that regardless of the device that people are using to view your medical website, they are getting the best browser experience.

So why have a website developed in Responsive Design?

  • Responsive design is the standard for new website development today.
  • If you don’t cater to mobile users, they will generally become frustrated and not stay on your site, but will jump out and seek information from another source
  • A website that is seamlessly accessible on any mobile device is important to any business – including medical with a web presence
  • Responsive website design is the best solution for most businesses and medical practices
  • If you are not sure where to start, you can contact us for a mini audit of your existing website or discuss your potential online activities that will include a mobile review.

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