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Germany – Heart, a problem with little trace online

Anyone who has never Googled their symptoms – raise your hands.

By now it is a known fact: people like to open their favourite search engine and look for answers before calling on the doctor. Every day, at all hours, a multitude asks the internet for advices on the best skin care or the best therapy to cure a disease; but what if there was no one answering on the other side?

The problem arises when on the other side, amidst the oceans of available content, we cannot find an authoritative opinion on medicines and OTC drugs.

The purpose of our research is, therefore, to understand if there truly is an adequate match between the request for information on health topics and the subsequent online offer from pharmaceutical brands and entities. With this purpose in mind, we examined conversations concerning seven main health topics, and compared them with specific keywords related to medicines in order to verify the influence of companies, brands and the pharma world on those topics.

In Germany more than 10% of men and 14% of women suffer from cardiac or circulatory problems. These results were published by the European Heart Journal following an analysis of the most common causes of death throughout Western European countries.

Considering the population density across EU countries, Germany is one of those with the highest incidence of cardiac diseases, and transluminal coronary angioplasty is the most common procedure performed on patients diagnosed with one. (data Eurostat).

And Germans seem worried about their health also when they’re online.

According to our research, which tracked online conversations in Germany, about seven major health issues and the influence of pharma brands and entities, from January to June 2017, Germans discussed body care in more than 4 million online conversations, demonstrating their particular attentiveness to wellness issues, fitness, and avoiding every kind of disease.

[December 2017]

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