Medical Web sites overall have been inconsistent in terms of Web development and low on innovation, according to the Web Marketing Association's (WMA) Internet Standards Assessment Report (ISAR).
The ISAR provides industry benchmarks for Web site development and is based on data from nearly 10,000 Web site evaluations in 80 industries.
Despite lagging behind when compared with other industries, medical Web sites are often easy to use and contain strong copy, according to the report.
“Pharmaceutical Web sites are increasingly reaching out directly to patients as well as the medical community,” the report stated. “These sites have become valuable tools as consumers seek to learn more about medical options and treatments before agreeing to them.”
William Rice, WMA president, explained: “Medical Web sites, and the search capabilities many offer, have helped make patients better consumers by demystifying medicine and making it less overwhelming. Of course … there are others that just don't make the grade.”
The all-volunteer WMA presides over its annual WebAwards competition, which recognizes innovation and excellence in online advertising.