A Weird 2020: Unique Searches in a Very Unique Year
Every year, millions of people search for providers, health care costs, rewardable services and more using our platform. Looking specifically at 2020, to put it mildly, it was a unique time for all of us. With this lens, we reviewed our analytics data from last year and found some interesting behavior by health plan members searching in HealthSparq One®. Here are some of our unique—and somewhat amusing—findings from 2020.
Technological mysteries or mind reading?
Do you know what a nocturnist is or when you would need to see a phlebotomist? Medical terms are not part of everyone’s vocabulary. Sometimes people just don’t know exactly what they are looking for when searching for care. Last year, about a dozen users typed the words “I don’t know” into the search bar. Did they just want to see what happens? Or hoped for a miracle or mind reader on the other end, telling them what they didn’t know? While we are no mind readers, our search algorithm helps health plan members find what they are looking for by recognizing the intent behind their search. Generally, we need a little more than “I don’t know” to find the right provider or service match for them, but we did provide some suggestions along the way.
Finding love online, just differently
Speaking of the right match, we know Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Since the pandemic started rampaging through our lives about a year ago many have been homebound. So, perhaps looking for love online doesn’t seem to be an unusual thing to do these days. But it is certainly not something you think people would search for while looking for in-network providers or out-of-pocket costs. Last year, almost 350 members searched for “love” in HealthSparq One. And while we don’t know if they found the kind of love they’re looking for, our search algorithm probably led them to just the right match for them in health care—a provider named Dr. Love.
Getting (extra) help, perhaps unwanted
A helping hand is sometimes all you need to find what you are looking for, in life, and when searching for health care. People are at home with their families a lot more these days, so they might be getting a little unwanted help from their cat or toddler. Our 2020 award for the longest word goes to the user who entered 545 random characters into HealthSparq One. In addition, we’d like to hand out a well-deserved award for the most repetitive search because this person (or cat) didn’t give up and searched several times for the letter q. Well, since neither of these searches likely led them to find a matching provider, at least they got an award.
Throwing in some normal (health care) stuff, for good measure
Our analytics team is always looking at more standard data points, so here are a few nuggets from 2020:
- More than three out of ten sessions came from mobile devices, an increase over 2019.
- MRI continues to be the most searched cost estimate and ‘genetic testing’ went up the rank and is now in the top 20.
- Almost 23% of all Rewards searches have been for a Mammogram, followed by MRI and colonoscopy.
- Traffic decreased in conjunction with COVID-19 stay at home orders last spring but reflecting on the whole year we captured an increase of sessions by 19.2% compared to the prior year since HealthSparq One was available to more members than ever before.
- And while some of our above-mentioned findings probably put a smile on your face, dentists nationwide had indeed something to smile about, since ‘dental services’ has been one of our top five search groups (compared to being on 10th place in 2019)—leaving people camera-ready (with hopefully a smile on their face) for their next virtual meeting or date.
HealthSparq’s team is focused on helping people find the right care at the right time. To do that we collect data on all aspects of user behavior to continually refine and improve the user experience—and share that data with our clients so they know what each individual member wants and needs. So, if you want to help your members to make smarter health care choices contact us today for a demo. And don’t forget, your member might find more than just the right match.