When you wanted the latest news updates, to get directions, read the menu to a restaurant, learn about a company, shop, connect with friends etc., you probably started with reaching for your laptop or smartphone and using the internet. Studies are showing that the same applies when looking for healthcare advice.
According to a national study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 81% of U.S. adults use the internet and 59% say they have looked online for health information in the past year. Of the Americans who said they used the internet to self-diagnose themselves, 46% of them said they got medical attention based on what they found online. 38% of the online diagnosers who sought medical attention said it turned out to be something they could have solved at home without the help of a health care professional and 11% said it was in between or both.
“This study was not designed to determine whether the internet has had a good or bad influence on health care. It measures the scope, but not outcome, of this activity.” This study shows the great deal of people using online internet sources for diagnosing sicknesses and other ailments.
Public health organization must take notice of these findings and realize the importance of their online web presence. An organization’s online presence is nearly as important as the physical structure of where it conducts its work. Having a presence somewhere whether it is in the real physical world or the virtual world of the internet is important, it means you are there and have a place.
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