The Web has edged out doctors as
the source used most for finding health- and wellness-related
information, according to a survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation for iCrossing.
Of the 1,084 online adults
surveyed, 59% had used Internet-based resources in the past 12 months
to get health information. Sources included Web sites, search engines,
online advertisements, blogs, forums and social networks. Only 55%
consulted their doctor for such information. Other sources, including
traditional media and word of mouth, all lagged behind in response.
The most frequently researched health topics online were symptoms,
courses of treatment, and diseases and conditions. Information about
nutrition, exercise and weight loss, drugs and medications formed a
second tier of interest. Healthcare information, such as that from
insurance providers, doctors, care services and pharmaceutical
companies were the least popular topics searched for by consumers.
Monitoring one’s health was a regular activity, too. Of those who
used the Internet to find health-related information online, more than
60% did so at least once a month and 45% did so more than once a month.