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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Little Friends: The power of the internet in healthcare


In an article written by the CEO of Open Minds, Monica Oss, information was shared pertaining to the power of the internet and how it is used to find healthcare resources. Some interesting data points were shared, and I suspect many of you can relate.

First and foremost, 80 percent of consumers looking for information about healthcare use an internet search engine. In fact, Google has over 90 percent of the share of usage, with Bing and Yahoo representing only 3 percent apiece. The volume is staggering, with searches topping 70,000 searches per minute, equaling 4.2MM searches every hour.

As a provider of specialized services, one of the more logical questions is “how do families find your business if there is need?” The experts in this field of marketing often speak to the importance of key words when looking at Search Engine Optimization. Yet, it seems everything moving forward with the search engines will also utilize Artificial Intelligence to find better fits to the search criteria being used by the person doing the search.

These new changes will be creating challenges for organizations like ours, as we need to make sure our information is AI-compatible and available through multiple online platforms.

So how does this all affect Little Friends? As a business, we have taken on the responsibility of being a resource for families looking for help regardless of whether we can provide a benefit.

We strive to be a trusted resource for families looking for special services in the world of autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities. We can’t provide help if people can’t find us, so all of this becomes very important to what we do.

Given this, we track and measure the number of requests we receive from families looking for services through our Family Care Team. Our results indicate that we can conclude that the information available is helping families and we are being found. In fact, over the past several months the number of requests for services is averaging over 140 emails or calls for assistance. The demand for our services continues to be greater than the availability of resources to provide help.

Over seven years, the volume of our work has nearly doubled, and it needs to double again based upon the demand we see, ironically with the sources coming primarily from the internet.

There is no doubt in my mind that people will continue to use search engines to find resources they need. We will continue to do what is needed so that families can learn about how we can be of help!

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Mike Briggs
Mike Briggshttp://littlefriendsinc.org
Mike Briggs is the President and CEO of Little Friends. Little Friends empowers clients with autism and other developmental disabilities to thrive in our community. Their groundbreaking programs and nationally-renowned staff provide lifelong opportunities for growth, so their clients can work, learn, play and experience the joy of life’s everyday moments.