The Internet plays a very large role in providing us with information on just about any topic nowadays and we have grown to be dependant on it. A national survey released on Tuesday showed that eight out of ten Internet users look up health care information online which makes this the third most popular online pursuit – right behind email and going on a search engine. The study was orchestrated by the Pew Internet Project and California HealthCare Foundation and the purpose of it was to measure Internet users’ interest in health information. The survey took into consideration that 25% of adults do not go online which would make the total of 59% of adult Internet users searching health information online.
The “Health Topics” study consisted of 3,000 adults being interviewed between August 9 and September 13, 2010. Following are eight topics that the study used that give us a good idea as to specific health-related searches people are performing online:
– 29% look online for information about food safety or recalls.
– 24% look online for information about drug safety or recalls.
– 19% look online for information about pregnancy and childbirth.
– 17% look online for information about memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s.
– 16% look online for information about medical test results.
– 14% look online for information about how to manage chronic pain.
– 12% look online for information about long-term care for an elderly or disabled person.
– 7% look online for information about end-of-life decisions.
The report also showed that Internet users are searching health symptoms and treatments. Below are six topics the report found Internet users to be searching:
– 66% look online for information about a specific disease or medical problem.
– 56% look online for information about a certain medical treatment or procedure.
– 44% look online for information about doctors or other health professionals.
– 36% look online for information about hospitals or other medical facilities.
– 33% look online for information related to health insurance, including private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
– 22% look online for information about environmental health hazards.
After reading over this report, it is vital that we at CalCPA ProtectPlus, continue to provide our policyholders and other visitors to our website with the information they are looking for – whether that be information regarding a ProtectPlus plan they are enrolled in, the latest information about healthcare reform or a recipe for diabetics. We continue to make it our goal to be a trusted source that people can look to for answers.
Click here to read the full report which includes details such as the data collected in past years on this same topic, demographic groups and use of mobile devices to search health information.