September 27, 2004

Today’s E-Patients: Hunters and Gatherers of Health Information Online

This speech describes the different ways Internet users find health information online. 80% of Internet users, or about 93 million Americans, have searched online for at least one of 16 major health topics. Among those who go online, there are different levels of access and skill. With a high-speed connection, the Internet becomes the go-to resource and users become accustomed to finding answers online. Plus the longer someone has been online, the more likely they are to conduct health information searches and to use email for serious purposes, such as seeking health advice. Hence, “Dr. Google” could grow even more influential as broadband connections proliferate and most users keep their Internet connection over a span of many years.