Web-Based Information for Patients and Providers

Web-Based Information for Patients and Providers

Izabella Lejbkowicz (Independent Researcher, Israel)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0047-7.ch002
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The exponential development of Information Technologies revolutionized healthcare. A significant aspect of this revolution is the access to health information in the Internet. The Internet World Stats estimates that 56.8% of the world population used the Internet in March 2019, an increase of 1,066% from 2000. According to The Pew Research Center survey of 2012 81% of Americans used the internet and 72% of them searched for health information. Even though there is a lack in more recent data on the percentage of online health information seekers, it is clear that this trend is on the rise. This chapter focuses on the characteristics of the search for online health information by patients and providers, investigates features related to the quality of health web sites, and discusses the impact of these searches on healthcare.
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The following chapter provides a review of the current literature on online healthcare information and its nexus to empowerment. More than ever, patients have new mechanisms to become informed about their conditions and treatment options. Providers bear a responsibility to understand and support emerging needs that may be driven by both underlying human psychology and by limited access to healthcare. The reader is presented herein to an interesting compilation of how the world wide web, social media, health informatics, AI, automated search tools and other technologies both promote and inhibit patient empowerment from a conceptual standpoint. The chapter concludes with a call to action echoed by many physicians: How can we ensure patients have available, reliable, high-quality health information that contributes to their empowerment?

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