When asked to think about the last time they went online for health or medical information, 39% of internet users who have done this type of research say they looked for information related to their own situation. Another 39% say they looked for information related to someone else’s health or medical situation. And 15% of these internet users say they were looking both on their own and someone else’s behalf.
Online health seekers age 65 and older are more likely than those in the middle age groups to say their last search was on their own behalf: 48%, compared with 39% of 50-64 year-olds, for example. Parents are more likely than non-parents to look on behalf of someone else: 44%, compared with 36%.
This trend has not changed significantly since we first began tracking it in 2000: more than half of health searches are conducted on behalf of someone not touching the keyboard.