Have you ever used the Internet to find information about a specific disease or medical problem? You are not alone. In fact, 66 percent of Internet users do this. A recent survey, commissioned by Royal Philips Electronics, has shown that more than one in 10 U.S. residents, or 11 percent, believe that such information may have saved their life or helped them avoid being severely incapacitated.
The Philips survey, which involved 503 men and 500 women, 18 years and older, showed that most of the people doing the research were caregivers, women, college degree holders and people with a chronic condition, particularly high blood pressure. Among the respondents, 41 percent said they were familiar and comfortable with sites that list health symptoms. A quarter of the respondents also said they trust symptom checker websites, apps and other online resources as much as they trust their doctor.
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The survey also showed that 55 percent of the respondents are comfortable sharing the information they find with their doctors, while 52 percent are comfortable sharing data from home-based vital sign monitors with their doctors. Men were also found to trust online and mobile apps more than women.
According to the Chief Medical Officer of Philips Healthcare, Eric Silfen, these are the early stages of Web-enabled, mHealth. He said that future apps will connect doctors, nurses and patients within a social context that facilitates medical decision making.
These new technologies will help prevent medical errors, lower the financial and social care costs and help sustain a higher quality of medical practice.
Eric was optimistic that “the technological undercurrents of the post-PC world, the power of many, designer gadgets, cloud ecosystems and mobile app computing, will hasten the personalization and partnerships that will transform sustainable medical care to the highest quality.”
Edited by Brooke Neuman