According to a survey by the Pew Internet/California HealthCare Foundation: “Technology is not an end, but a means to accelerate the pace of discovery, widen social networks, and sharpen the questions someone might ask when they do get to talk to a health professional. Technology can help to enable the human connection in health care and the internet is turning up the information network’s volume.”
Key Findings from the survey:
- 61% of America adults look online for health information.
- American adults continue to turn to traditional sources of health information, even as many of them deepen their engagement with the online world.
- The social life of health information is robust.
- A majority of e-patients access user-generated health information.
Social networking sites are used only sparingly for health queries and updates.
- Online health inquiries have an impact on decisions or action and there are clearly more positive experiences than negative ones.
- Internet users report a surge of interest in information about exercise and fitness.
- Change is coming, whether through the spread of wireless devices or generational shifts.