Skip to content Skip to navigation

More Than One-Third of Patients Go Online to Diagnose, Research Says

January 16, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Historically, people have always tried to answer their health questions at home and made personal choices about whether and when to consult a clinician. Many have now added the internet to their personal health toolbox, according to new research published by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

Thirty-five percent of U.S. adults say that at one time or another they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have.  Pew labeled these patients “online diagnosers.” And 72 percent of internet users say they looked online for health information of one kind or another within the past year.  This includes searches related to serious conditions, general information searches and searches for minor health problems.  Pew has labeled these patients “online health seekers.”

Nearly half—46 percent—of online diagnosers said the information found online led them to think they needed the attention of a medical professional, and 41 percent said a medical professional confirmed their diagnosis.

Moreover, women are more likely than men to go online to figure out a possible diagnosis. Other groups that have a high likelihood of doing so include younger people, white adults, those who live in households earning $75,000 or more and those with a college degree or advanced degrees, the study says.

The results reported come from a nationwide survey of 3,014 adults living in the U.S. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline and cell phone. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Topics

News

Medical Imaging Collaborative Aims to Bring Cognitive Computing to Radiology

June 24, 2016
A collaborative of 16 health systems, academic medical centers, ambulatory radiology providers and imaging technology vendors formed by IBM Watson aims to bring cognitive imaging into daily practice.

Research: Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Prove Worthwhile in Preventing Opioid Deaths

June 24, 2016
The implementation of state prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) was associated with the prevention of approximately one opioid-related overdose death every two hours on average nationwide, according to a new Vanderbilt-led study published in Health Affairs.

VA Officials Discuss Modernizing EHR System During Senate Committee Hearing

June 24, 2016
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials indicated that the agency will likely look for a commercial electronic health record system during a discussion about its 40-year-old homegrown system at a Senate committee hearing this week.

Maine’s HIE Reports Strong Growth in Usage, Expansion of Analytics Capabilities

June 23, 2016
In its latest annual report, Maine’s state HIE, HealthInfoNet, reports a 52 percent growth in the number of users accessing the system since 2014 and a 69 percent increase in the number of patients whose records have been viewed across the largely rural state.

HHS Names New Members to HIT Policy and Standards Committees

June 23, 2016
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell named eight new members of the Health Information Technology Standards Committee (HITSC) and one new member to the Health IT Policy Committee (HITPC).

OpenNotes and AMDIS Partner to Advance Medical Record Transparency

June 22, 2016
The Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS) and OpenNotes have announced a partnership to advance transparency in health care and enhance patient and clinician communication.

McKesson Considers Merging IT Unit with Change Healthcare, Media Report Says

June 22, 2016
Health information technology (IT) vendor McKesson has held talks about merging its IT unit with healthcare technology company Change Healthcare, according to a Reuters article.

Study: 77 Percent of Healthcare Organizations Will Use Public Cloud This Year, But Security Concerns Persist

June 21, 2016
More than half of surveyed healthcare executives have reported moving “Tier 1” applications to the cloud or software-defined data centers and 77 percent said they plan to move additional systems to the public cloud this year, according to a report from HyTrust.

HL7, IHE Renew Agreement for Interoperability, FHIR Collaboration

June 21, 2016
Health Level Seven International (HL7) and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) have renewed their cooperation agreement to advance the goal of interoperability of health information.

Survey: Payers, Providers Project Value-Based Reimbursement Will Eclipse Fee-for-Service by 2020

June 21, 2016
According to the results of a new survey, value-based payment has hit the tipping point, with bundled payment projected to grow rapidly in the next five years and as payers’ network strategies are changing, getting narrower and more selective. The survey results also reveal that payers and hospitals are somewhat struggling to scale these complex strategies.

HHS Announces $100M in Funding to Help Small Practices with MACRA

June 21, 2016
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced $20 million each year over the next five years to fund on-the-ground Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) training and education for Medicare clinicians in individual or small group practices.

AMA CEO: “Digital Snake Oil” Remarks Have Initiated Much-Needed Discussion

June 20, 2016
The American Medical Association’s (AMA) CEO and executive vice president, James Madara, M.D., discussed further his recent comments about digital health products being “snake oil of the early 21st century.”

Provider Organizations Call on CMS to Reconsider Expanded Quality Reporting Requirements

June 20, 2016
A number of healthcare provider organizations are calling on the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reconsider requiring hospitals to submit 15 electronic clinical quality measures (eCQM) in 2017.

HHS Agency Awards $250K Grant to Support Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

June 20, 2016
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) within HHS will provide $250,000 annually for three years to help state medical boards implement the administrative and technical infrastructure of the new Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.

Close to 150,000 Patient Medical Records Potentially Affected by Bizmatics Data Breach

June 17, 2016
A healthcare provider in Colorado, Vincent Vein Center, is the latest organization to notify the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) about a breach of protected health information stemming from a malicious hacker attacking Bizmatics’ data servers.

Pages