Mobile phone users access or search for information about bipolar disorder more than any other health condition, according to a report by advertising firm PageScience, MedCity News reports (Baum,MedCity News, 8/6).

Details of Report

For the report, researchers analyzed 516.5 million health advertisement impressions — which correspond with users accessing or searching for certain health topics online — over a 10-day period in June. The ads were accessed via mobile phone, personal computers and tablet computers.

Researchers analyzed ad impressions for at least 82 health conditions.

According to PageScience CEO Bill Jennings, mobile phone users accounted for 5% of the report’s total ad views.


Researchers found that 3.8 million mobile impressions were related to bipolar disorder — accounting for 82% of total impressions for the condition across all platforms. In comparison, there were 660,000 impressions via personal computer for bipolar disorder.

Meanwhile, there were 2.65 million mobile impressions for cancer, but that only accounted for 2% of the total impressions for the condition across all platforms because there were 148 million PC impressions for cancer.


In a release, New York psychiatrist Janet Taylor said that the prevalence of mobile searches for bipolar disorder could result from individuals who show symptoms of bipolar disorder having similar demographics as mobile phone users. For example, bipolar patients have an average age of 25, she said.

Taylor added that the disparity in searchers for bipolar disorder between mobile phones and PCs could be explained by individuals preferring to use their phones for privacy and access reasons.

Meanwhile, Jennings said that the findings show that users tend to use PCs to do more long-term research into health conditions such as cancer and obesity.

Jennings said that PageScience plans to update the analysis monthly (PageScience release, 8/6).


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