Are you a bit shy when it comes to asking your physician personal health questions? Or maybe you avoid the doctor because you worry certain medical services won’t be covered by insurance? If so, you’re not alone, according to a survey by Pearl.com, a site that connects users to doctors, lawyers and other professionals for advice.
Out of 1,000 people surveyed, 63% said they are more likely to ask about sensitive topics like sex and STDs online rather than in-person at the doctor’s office. And 65% said they have avoided going to a doctor in favor of seeking medical information online. People mostly turn to the interwebs due to concerns over health insurance coverage (24%) or embarrassment (21%).
“Pearl.com seeks to help improve people’s lives, and one way that we’re doing this is by providing health and medical access to people who prefer online access to an expensive doctor’s visit, need help after hours, are uncomfortable asking questions in-person, and/or want to get some initial information from a doctor online before scheduling the in-person appointment,” said Allison Leeds, head of user experience for Pearl.com, in a statement.
Pearl.com, which launched this past June, lets you interact with doctors and lawyers to get professional advice on a variety of topics for a monthly fee. The site was founded by Andy Kurtzig when he and his wife were new parents and had lots of questions for the doctor. Having programming experience, he wanted to make it easy and quick for his wife to talk to a doctor.
HealthTap is a similar service, except it’s free. The only caveat is you have to post your health concern in a public forum, so if embarrassment is your reason for avoiding the doctor, this site might not work for you.
The online survey of 1,000 U.S. adults 18 and older was conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Pearl.
When you’re not feeling well or think you have a medical problem, how often do you turn to the Internet for guidance? And how often do you follow that up with a real doctor appointment? Tell us in the comments.
Image credit Flickr, Alex E. Proimos