Seeking Health Information Online is Up says Pew Research

Should come as no surprise but Pew Internet just published some great info.

The Shared Search for Health Information on the Internet

61% of American Adults Now Look Online for Medical Help

June 11, 2009

In 2000, 46% of American adults had access to the internet, 5% of U.S. households had broadband connections and 25% of American adults looked online for health information. Now, 74% of American adults go online, 57% of American households have broadband connections and 61% of adults look online for health information. We use the term “e-patient” to describe this group.

Further, “always present” mobile access draws people into conversations about health as much as online tools enable research.

American adults continue to turn to traditional sources of health information, even as many of them deepen their engagement with the online world.

When asked, “Now thinking about all the sources you turn to when you need information or assistance in dealing with health or medical issues, please tell me if you use any of the following sources…”

  • 86% of all adults ask a health professional, such as a doctor.
  • 68% of all adults ask a friend or family member.
  • 57% of all adults use the internet.
  • 54% use books or other printed reference material.
  • 33% contact their insurance provider.
  • 5% use another source not mentioned in the list.

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