Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Americans Hit the Web for Health Info
A new report from the PEW Internet Project shows that 61% of American adults go online for health information. These "e-patients" are seeking information about health for themselves or for friends or relatives. And 2/3 of them talk to someone else about what they find online, most often a friend or spouse.
Certainly young physicians and health administrators are aware of this sea change , but I am not sure everyone in health care really realizes how different patients (consumers) are now and how they are receiving information. Twenty-four percent of e-patients have consulted rankings or reviews online of doctors or other providers and hospitals. Another 19% have signed up to receive updates about health or medical issues.
When 60% of these patients say the information they found online affected a decision about how to treat an illness or condition, health professionals better sit up and take notice. Younger adults (ages 18-49) are the internet age and expect technology to provide information and advice.
Change it is a-comin'
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