Angelini (ComScore): “With a pandemic, more and more Italians are getting information online”

The expert on Allies for Health: “From 2020 to 2021 35 million users on specialized sites, in 2019 they were 25 million”

Italians learn more and more about health and prevention and, driven by Covid, they do so through the Internet. “The Health category in our country has recorded a very strong growth of unique users linked to the pandemic emergency: if in 2019 the monthly average of unique users on health sites was 25 million, in the last 2 years it has reached peaks of almost 35 million and in recent months it has fluctuated between 31 and 32 million. This shows how the pandemic has increased the awareness of Italians regarding the management of their own well-being: users are increasingly active in searching for information related to health and to do so they use all the channels at their disposal. “Thus Fabrizio Angelini, CEO of ComScore Italiaan Internet research company able to provide services and data for marketing in various commercial sectors of the web, in an editorial published in ‘Allies for Health’, a portal dedicated to medical-scientific information created by Novartis, comments on the results of a study based on research by Sensemakers, a consultancy firm specializing in media analysis and interpretation of audience behavior and profile data.

In 2019 – explains Angelini – the Italian digital audience tended to use online channels less than other countries, with a penetration of the sites of the health category that did not exceed 66% of the Italians who surfed the Net, compared to shares of around 80% in other countries. With the outbreak of the pandemic, more or less all the countries have aligned themselves on the same levels of penetration, with Italy that has approached the reach of other countries. Looking at the time spent on average by each user, however, we note that British and Americans spend twice as much time on health sites as Italians and Spaniards, both in the pre-pandemic period and during. It is interesting to note that in the Anglo-Saxon countries the peaks in the time spent in the months immediately preceding the explosion of the health emergency have been reached, when Covid still seemed a phenomenon limited to China alone.

The main players in the Health category are industry publishing sites or fitness tracking apps – the expert underlines – Exceptions are the ministry’s websites, ‘’ and ‘’, a scientific information site promoted by Msd. The most consulted site is’Mypersonaltrainer‘which saw 4% growth in comparison with May 2019, while the one which saw the highest levels of growth is’psycho-advisor‘, a psychology site founded in 2012 by a group of psychologists and psychotherapists, which recorded a growth of 473%, a clear sign of the impact that the pandemic has also had on people’s mental health. ‘Ogha’ and the ministerial site ‘’ also saw substantial growth in comparison with May 2019. Not only that: among the top 15 most visited sites, only 4 are institutional sites / Apps (‘Immune’; ‘ ‘;’ ‘;’ ‘).

Looking at the age groups, however, it emerges that 25-34 year olds are the ones who use the Internet the most for Diet & Exercise / Fitness Tracker, and in general young people (18-24 years) are less interested in the Health category than the more mature age groups. In general, 76% of Italians spend their time on Mobile App, 14% on desktop and only 10% on Mobile Web, while the Health category is more likely than the Internet average to use the App and much less to browse desktop.

The pandemic, however, according to Angelini, has accelerated the phenomenon of medical influencer. At the top of the ranking developed by Sensemakers there is the infectious disease specialist Matteo Bassetti, followed by the psychotherapist Stefania Andreoli, both very active on social networks. Among the other faces that populate the top ten: Nino Cartabellotta founder of Gimbe, the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, the virologist Roberto Burioni and the Undersecretary of Health Pierpaolo Sileri.

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