Health Care Slideshow: Social Medicine: Is the Internet Transforming Healthcare?

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 05-13-2011
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18 percent of all U.S. Internet users have gone to the Web to find people who have similar ailments.

Whether or not you work in the healthcare or pharmaceutical industries, it's worth noting the growing role of the Internet and social networks in how we make medical decisions. The fact that Americans are turning to the Internet and social networks for resources on some of our most deeply personal healthcare issues is a striking commentary on just how much our ideas about privacy are changing. If someone is willing to discuss their personal medical care in an open forum, it should give you pause to consider what else they might be open to discussing online, including, perhaps, confidential information about your company. With this in mind, the report "Peer to Peer Healthcare," released by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, reveals that, while many of us continue to consult family and friends about health problems, the Web has taken on greater importance than ever as a source of information, particularly for those grappling with chronic illness.



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