This is a second story on the IMS report from story #1.
A section of the IMS report, Engaging patients through social media, discusses Wikipedia and how health information is used on the platform. The article shows volumes of visits on different topics. Some of the highlights of annual visits:
- 4.2 million: Tuberculosis (#1)
- 4.1 million: Crohn’s Disease (#2)
- 2.7 million: Lymphoma (#11)
- 2.7 million: Lyme Disease (#12)
- 2.3 million: Insomnia (#24)
- 2.2 million: Leukemia (#25)
Patients often use Wikipedia when diagnosed with a condition as a starting point for their online self-education. Wikipedia entries often appear highest in the results pages of various search engines and the public perception of Wikipedia being a legitimate source of information has increased dramatically in recent years.
Seasonality of searches
A case study in the report links sales of insomnia drugs to Wikipedia searches. Correlation is not causation, but the report looks at how much the Wikipedia searches lag drug sales and the patterns of use.
Most changes affect patients
Up to 96% of changes on Wikipedia topics affect patient-relevant information, which makes sense as most Wikipedia editors are not experts in the fields on which they are writing. Notice that Management/Therapy is often the largest known change type (often larger than “other”):