Nearly six in 10 US adults have turned to the internet to find out health information in the past year and one-third of US adults have tried to diagnose themselves or others because of online information, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
In its Health Online 2013 study, Pew found that 59 percent of US adults go online for basic health information, such as serious conditions, general information searches, and searches for minor health problems, while 35 percent specifically hope to diagnose themselves or others, a group Pew called “online diagnosers.”
Of the online diagnosers, 46 percent said what they found online led them to visit a healthcare professional, 38 percent said they took care of the issue at home, and 11 percent said the problem fell somewhere in between.
Pew also reported that women, younger people, white adults, and those with a household income of more than $75,000 were more likely to be online diagnosers.
How often do you search online for health information or a diagnosis? Have you been able to solve the problem at home or go into see a professional?