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Healthcare consumers online -- more from Connected Health (1 of 5)

[Here is the first of five excerpts from notes I took at Connected Health Symposium in Boston a few weeks ago]

Susannah Fox from Pew Internet Life Project, talked about participatory medicine. From their research, she noted that three-fourths of American adults are online, 50% of households have broadband and 80% of net users look online for health information. The availability of source and date of information is not correlated with information quality or lack thereof, so even though information online is not vetted, there are very few bad outcomes related to the net. “Healthcare is stuck in a broadcast world and ‘ePatients’ are looking for the “mouse” so they can interact with it.” She noted that 75% of Americans have cell phones. Surprising, Paige Amidon of Consumer Reports Health notes that the number of subscribers to Consumer Reports Health, a paid publication, is growing annually – average age is 50’s and up, now 4 million subscribers to magazine and online site (also paid). Matt Holt, The Health Care Blog – a humorous and great speaker, quoted from Edelman study of the “Health Engagement Barometer” that 22% of those surveyed ar “Health Info-entials” who search for, want and need content that can be found online. Note that 80% of IBM employees have a personal health record (PHR).

Personal Health Record (PHR) was discussed, including a panel of execs from Microsoft HealthVault, Google Health, Dossia, and WebMD – who were hopeful, as were others, that one will emerge that doctors will embrace, in which you walk in, plug in your PHR, and it follows you from specialist to specialist in a connected network of providers. This seems likely near term, however, only in closed systems of providers (like Partners, Kaiser Permanente, or Veterans Administration).


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