Yext, the leader in Digital Knowledge Management (DKM), today released new survey data on how patients are using voice search to find and engage with healthcare providers. The results show that voice search has become an important piece of the evolving patient journey, and therefore that health systems need to consider how this growing technology is changing healthcare discovery and decision-making.
Yext polled 1,000 adults in the U.S. who have asked a healthcare-related question using a voice device like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, to showcase the shift in the devices patients use to search for their healthcare. The research revealed the following key findings:
Patients are using voice search more and more: 71 percent of those polled use voice search on their phones at least once a day, and if given the option, nearly one in three would prefer to use a voice search device to search for health information.
Location is central to most questions asked via voice: When it comes to health information, the top questions respondents are interested in asking via voice were local questions, such as the nearest urgent care (55 percent of respondents), a doctor's location (44 percent), or where a prescription can be picked up (36 percent).
Use of voice is currently transactional, but more functionality is an interest: While only one in three people are interested in doing more complex system-based searches via voice, respondents indicated they would use voice search to improve their health experience through requesting reminders to take prescriptions (53 percent), to make an appointment with a doctor (43 percent) or to know what kind of insurance a doctor accepts (43 percent).
"Over the last year and a half I've visited more than 200 health systems. I've seen firsthand that, as the way patients search for and select physicians and health systems is evolving, the industry is struggling to adapt," said Carrie Liken, Yext Head of Industry, Healthcare. "As our research shows, patients are increasingly using voice with services like Siri, Alexa and Google Home to search for healthcare providers. Voice search growth will have a profound impact on patient acquisition strategies in the years to come."
Today, one in five searches are voice searches, and it's expected the use of voice-enabled speakers will grow by 120 percentin the next year. The patient journey is changing rapidly, and health systems must keep up with the pace of change.
For more information on the evolving patient journey, watch Yext's webinar, The Evolving Patient Experience.