Online health trends indicate a muddiness when it comes to just how much of a replacement online health information is for the traditional meet-and-greet. A recent study by McCann's intelligence unit found that 94% of consumers polled across countries felt that brands could help them with their wellness goals. What this means in terms of identifying solutions, however, is unclear, particularly since this same study indicated a fear among young adults that their online lifestyle was nudging them into a pudgy category. McCann's survey of citizens in the UK, US, Japan, South Africa, Turkey, Brazil, Peru and China, found that “cyberchondriacs” were the most likely to use the internet to diagnose conditions like depression, obesity-related illnesses and allergies. A recent study by Pew Research Center translates this somewhat for the American audience, finding, for example, that although 59% of US adults say they have waded into the internet in the search for health information in the last year. What Pew's patients were looking for when they went online wasn't necessarily a cheap way out – while only 2% of the info seekers actually shelled out money for information if they hit a pay wall, 53% of online health info seekers said they ended up booking an appointment with an HCP. Although McCann's number crunchers said 21% of respondents think “doctors will be obsolete in the future” the follow-on information indicates that the white coat business will continue to have a future – McCann said 66% of its survey pool felt doctors could up their value if they focused more on preventative medicine, while Pew noted that 70% of US adults sought out medical face time in 2012 when looking for help with a serious medical issue.
Rising diabetes rates and healthcare reform will add up to “moderate” growth in glucose monitoring devices, according to research firm Millennium Research Group
, which pegs the market as hitting $16 billion in five years. The firm said low-cost self-monitoring glucose meters, test strips and lancets will remain mainstays, but the growth will be in continuous glucose monitoring devices, which snag a premium prices. Although US patients favor syringes, Millennium forecasts that syringe use will drop over the next five years, edged out by insulin pens and insulin pumps, which are more expensive.