Internet Main Source For Healthcare Information

    August 29, 2007

Going online for health information is popular. Seventy-eight percent of Americans look to the Internet to find health information, according to a Burst Media study.

The Internet is used more than healthcare professionals for family health information. Forty-five percent of respondents said the Internet was the main place to find information to help keep their household healthy.

The study found that 90 percent of women between the ages of 25-34 looked for health information online. Within this group 64 percent said the Internet was the primary resource they look to for information to keep their household healthy.

Respondents 18-34 years of age are the most frequent users of online health information, with 40 percent of this group searching online for health information at least once a week, compared to 29 percent of respondents 35 and older.

After a medical appointment 43 percent of respondents use the Internet to do more research on healthcare topics discussed at the visit. Fifty-four percent of respondents use the Internet to find information about specific symptoms and 51 percent use the Web to find information about treatments for a specific illness.

Thirty-five percent of respondents use general, independent healthcare sites and 33 percent use condition specific sites to find healthcare information. Healthcare provider’s sites are used by 26 percent of respondents, government Web sites 23 percent and the Web sites of pharmaceutical companies 16 percent.

"The Internet has transformed how people seek health information – particularly when it comes to family healthcare," said Jarvis Coffin, CEO and co-founder of Burst Media.

"Understanding the ways consumers research health topics can only help organizations better communicate not only practical day-to-day health tips, but also valuable medical information to very receptive audiences."