Earlier this week, Harris Interactive released the latest edition of a tracking poll focusing on the number of Americans who go online to find health information. The big surprise this year was that “only” 150 million US adults had reported using the Internet to find health and medical content this year. In 2007, 160 million Americans reported conducting online health research.
Harris cautioned readers not to get too excited about the poll, saying: “The difference between this year’s and last year’s survey results . . . are well within the possible sampling error.” Overall, there are still a lot of Americans turning to the Internet for health content.
In light of these results, I found a comment by Humphrey Taylor, chairman of the Harris Poll, especially interesting. He said: “[Currently] there are no objective measures of how accurate and reliable . . . online information actually is. [However], it seems that the Internet is positively contributing to the quality of health care.”