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Contributing Writer · May 13, 2011

How People Use the Internet for Health Information

Eight in 10 people use the internet to find health-related information. It’s no wonder so many patient support groups and health advice sites are popping up online. 80 percent of adults who use the internet have looked online for health information, according to a recent study by Pew Internet & American Life Project and the California Healthcare Foundation.

Online health-related searches like these show that people are becoming more active in their health rather than relying solely on a medical professional for answers. It’s interesting to see the role the internet will play in the way we view health information as the internet expands. Here are some interesting facts from the study:

• 80 percent of those looking for health information use the internet to look up a specific disease or medical problem.
• 50+ percent have looked for information on a particular treatment, drug or procedure
• Seven percent look for info on life-ending decisions
• 24 percent of users have read someone’s commentary, blog or other account of a personal health experience – this goes to show how powerful patient stories can be.
• 16 percent of surfers consult ratings or rankings of doctors and or hospitals - one day Practice Fusion could become a powerful source for patients looking for a technologically advanced doc!

As patients we put our complete trust in our doctors, feeling that we are getting the best advice possible, but do we put that same trust in our internet resources? You tell me! Share your thoughts in the comments section below.