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Aug 6 2014   10:24AM GMT

Bipolar disorder most popular health mobile search

Shaun Sutner Shaun Sutner Profile: Shaun Sutner

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bipolar disorder
desktop search
mobile search

Mobile searchers look for information about bipolar disorder more often than any other medical issue, according to new research by Internet marketing firm PageScience.

Mobile searchers look for information about bipolar disorder more often than any other medical issue, according to new research by Internet marketing firm PageScience.

Next for mobile searches, in descending order, are lupus, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and blood disorders.

PageScience’s search methodology uses impressions, not clicks, as the most accurate measure of whether information is being viewed.

The data contrasts mobile search behavior and results for health info searches with how consumers use personal computers to look for the same kind of info. In the desktop and laptop worlds, cancer and weight loss come in the two top slots, with obesity taking third place.

Filling in the top 10 most popular health conditions and issues that mobile users search for are: allergies; hepatitis C; heartburn; myasthenia gravis; birth control; sleep disorder; and anxiety.

The remainder of the top 10 for desktop searchers: restless leg syndrome; diet; HIV-AIDS; dry eye; dental; insomnia; and psychology.

Bipolar disorder registered 3.8 million mobile impressions during a 10-day period in late June analyzed by PageScience, compared to just 600,000 impressions on desktops. And cancer got just 2.6 million impressions on mobile, but 148 million on PCs.

Those patterns reflect clear differentiation in age-based platform preferences, according to Janet Taylor, M.D., a New York City psychiatrist quoted in PageScience’s release on its survey.

Taylor noted that the average age of people with bipolar disorder is 25, with women outnumbering men in having such mood disorders. And women in their 20s are also big mobile users, so they turn to their smartphones for research into symptoms, treatment and prevention, the doctor pointed out. Young people with psychological issues may also prefer using phones rather than computers because they offer better privacy and more convenience.

Other points of interest highlighted in the survey are that health conditions such as allergies vary by location and season, so consumers seek information about them on their mobile devices as they travel, and conditions such as heartburn are episodic and can appear suddenly.

The figures compiled by PageScience were based on 516.5 million total health-related impressions.

Also included in the PageScience info is a spreadsheet of 82 physical health conditions and their breakdown by device, plus bar graphs on mental health and episodic health conditions by device.

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