The jungle of online health information

  • 75 percent of adults have searched online for health-related information in the last year.
  • When faced with an actual or potential diagnosis of cancer, most people are inclined to consult Dr. Google, often before they see a real live medical expert.
  • It’s easy for people to land on a site filled with misinformation that leads them to make decisions that may not be in their best interests,” said Dr. Lidia Schapira, medical oncologist at Stanford University Medical Center.
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Online health seekers don’t trust social media

  • Illness symptoms/treatments and medication are most frequently cited as the types of health- related information sought online.
  • Healthcare information concerns abound, particularly when it comes to credibility.
  • 83% of Healthcare Information Seekers who are exposed to health information on social media are concerned about incorrect or misleading medical information.
  • Only 35% of Healthcare Information Seekers who use social media report that, in their experience, the information on social media is mostly accurate

Source: Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research

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The confusing world of online health information

KEY TAKEAWAY: Right now, medical devices are less rigorously regulated than drugs: Only 1 percent of medical devices get FDA approval with high-quality clinical trials behind them. Even in these cases, devices typically reach the market based on data from a single small, short-term trial, Redberg wrote in a 2014 editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, where she called for a sham control study of stents.  So what do you do if you’re a stent patient or candidate? Continue reading

Online health information is about the right Place at the right Time

An Altarum Institute survey found that most consumers seek health care information from providers, friends and family, and online searches. Of all information types, consumers are most dissatisfied with health care cost information . This is especially true for lower-income and uninsured consumers.

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Problems related to online health information seeking

UnknownPOST SUMMARY:  As health care systems around the world shift toward models that emphasize self-care management, there is increasing pressure for patients to obtain health information online.  Overall online health seekers display awareness of potential problems related to online health information seeking.   The need for enhanced patient communication skills and eHealth literacy assessments that are accompanied by targeted resources pointing individuals to high-quality credible online health information, and the need to remind patients of the importance of consulting a medical professional when they use online health resources to diagnose and treat a health issue is a substantial gap. Continue reading