In 2019 it was found that more than 153 million people have used personal voice assistants at least once in their lives. Out of them, one-third has been permanent with their usage. Voice technology, whether it is in mobiles or if it comes with smart speakers, has become mainstream in a few years. One of the industries that have embraced voice assistant technology is the healthcare industry, a sector notorious for failing to keep up with IT evolution. Interestingly, more than 19 million people depended on voice assistant devices to get a response for their healthcare inquiries. A study reflected the following findings:
- More 51% consumers would like to use a voice assistant for their healthcare needs.
- In 72.9% of these cases, voice assistants were used to inquire for illness symptoms.
- Almost 45.9% people utilized voice assistants to get medical information.
- 7% used them for locating their healthcare providers.
- At least 37.7% obtained information for researching treatment options.
- Nearly 29.4% were guided by them for nutritional information.
- Around 28.2% used them for finding a medical practitioner.
The study explained that these questions were directed at people from all genders and groups. Thus, it is clear that consumers definitely want voice assistants to connect with healthcare institutions and get answers to their healthcare needs.
Today, almost one-sixth of all the searches are performed via voice. Hence, if you manage a brand and have not engaged in voice optimization then you can be on the losing side, missing 15% of your target audience. Studies suggest that almost 66% of voice search use cases rely on local search. Therefore, a vast chunk of patients are using voice search to find a local clinic, healthcare provider, or a doctor.
When you review voice search via voice assistants, the key is to make sure that you focus on ranking. Depending on the operating system, device type, and search details, voice assistants can offer 1-3 results. If you intend to perform VEO for your brand, then you can begin by ranking the most common keywords (just make sure they are not branded keywords).
How Are Brands Coping
There are not many healthcare providers who have kept themselves adequately prepared. Many are relying on Alexa. Some are using Dragon Medical One. Some are researching on how they can use voice assistants to make lives of long-term patients and older adults better. Tech giant like Google has acquired Fitbit, a fact that is only going to bolster the adoption of voice search in healthcare. Smartwatches and fitness devices make up close to 22% voice interaction cases in the healthcare industry.