SOURCE: Healthline Networks

Healthline Networks

December 19, 2011 08:00 ET

Year in Review: Healthline Networks Unveils Top 10 Health Searches on Web and Mobile

Private Issues Top Mobile Searches With Chlamydia as Number One Query; Cancer and Diabetes Top Web Searches; Diseases Searched for Five Times More Than Symptoms

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 19, 2011) - Healthline Networks, the leading health search and information services provider, today released the most searched health terms across the Healthline HealthWeb in 2011, revealing that people using desktops and laptops search for more serious conditions, such as diabetes and cancer. The company also found that consumers turn to mobile devices to search for private issues, such as those related to sexually transmitted diseases and mental health conditions.

Every month, about 100 million consumers use Healthline and its HealthWeb partners to search for medically accurate health information. Healthline's Medically-guided search technology is used on leading health information destinations including Yahoo! Health, AARP, Sharecare, United Health, Aetna and many more. And on these trusted sites, consumers have access to Healthline's additional tools such as in-depth videos, 3-D animations, learning centers and wellness guides that illustrate many of the top Web searches in a more meaningful way.

"Consumers are clearly getting more sophisticated about how to find the most relevant, trusted information as they take control of their health, " said West Shell, chairman and CEO of Healthline Networks. "Our data illuminates the different ways people are looking at information across the patient pathway. On desktops and laptops, consumers are searching for complicated issues and often accessing rich visual media to get more educated about a condition. With mobile devices, people are often searching for conditions that are very private in nature and seeking quick answers."

Healthline's semantic healthcare taxonomy not only provides insight into specific queries, it classifies and can aggregate search volume by semantic type - disease, symptom, drug, treatment and more. Viewing the search types by semantic category, consumers most often search for diseases; on average diseases are searched for at a rate of five times higher than symptoms, nine times higher than food and 13 times higher for a brand name drug.

Healthline's 2011 search data also demonstrates unique user behavior when it comes to searching for health information via the Web or mobile devices. Overall results include:

Top Web Search Data
Consumers use health search tools, powered by Healthline, on the Web to find key information about personal health, with leading search terms related to cancer and diabetes.

1. Cancer
2. Diabetes
3. Symptom
4. Pain
5. Weight
6. Infection
7. Virus
8. Diet
9. Thyroid
10. Sleep

When consumers search for health information online:

  • August had the highest rate of health-related Web traffic and searches overall.
  • The biggest spike of search activity was between Feb. 12-15. At this time, Avastin, the breast cancer treatment, was pulled from use by FDA, and the 2012 budget for healthcare was being discussed by President Barack Obama.
  • Personal health is top of mind in the beginning of the week, and dramatically falls on the weekends. Desktop and laptop users search for health information the most on Monday, and the least on Saturday.
  • Consumers dive into health issues after the workday: Web searches are also being performed at night, between 8-9 p.m.

Top Mobile Search Data
Searches on mobile devices tend to be about private conditions, with many of the leading searches related to sexually transmitted diseases, mental health and other sensitive subjects.

1. Chlamydia
2. Bipolar disorder
3. Depression
4. Smoking/quit smoking
5. Herpes
6. Gout
7. Scabies
8. Multiple Sclerosis
9. Pregnancy
10. Vitamin A

When consumers search for health information on their mobile devices:

  • March had the highest rate of mobile traffic and searches.
  • Mobile traffic spiked between March 30-April 1, when two major health news items broke: the recall of Tylenol 8 Hour Extended Release Caplets and the growing concern of radiation from Japan's nuclear power plant that resulted from its catastrophic earthquake.
  • Saturdays are not the day for health search, even on mobile, as the weekend ranks lowest in search volume. Most mobile health searches take place mid-week, with Wednesday being the peak.
  • Most searches on mobile devices are - similar to Web searches - performed at night, between 9-11 p.m.

About Healthline Networks
Healthline Networks is the fastest growing provider of intelligent health information services, enabling 100 million consumers a month to make more confident, informed healthcare decisions. The company's proprietary consumer healthcare taxonomy, the largest of its kind, powers a suite of intelligent health search, content and advertising services. Combining advanced search technology with deep medical expertise, Healthline partners with a network more than 50 trusted destination sites that include publishers, portals, search engines, employers and health plans. Headquartered in San Francisco and named to Deloitte's Technology Fast 500 in 2010 and 2011, Healthline is backed by Aetna, GE/NBC Peacock Fund, Investor Growth Capital, Kaiser Permanente, Reed Elsevier, U.S. News & World Report, and VantagePoint Venture Partners. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • PR Contact:
    Jennifer Conway
    Dotted Line Communications for Healthline Networks
    Email Contact