Kristen Gerencher of The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, recently interviewed me about internet users and online health information. The article appeared on the MarketWatch website, August 21:
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch)—It’s not yet a perfect match, but the relationship between Internet users and online health information appears to be growing serious.
And slowly but surely, more doctors and health-care professionals are seeing the value when patients empower themselves with knowledge.
Receiving a new diagnosis or helping a loved one through a health crisis can motivate even the most squeamish or technology-averse people to dive into the world of online health information. Websites also fill in when people can’t take time off work or afford the money to see a doctor.
But knowing how to get what you’re looking for without being misled, coerced by commercial interests or scared silly can be harder than it looks.
First, the good news.
“The information that’s available online, particularly on the good sites, has improved dramatically,” says Jessie Gruman, president and founder of the Center for Advancing Health, a Washington-based nonprofit that aims to increase people’s engagement in their health care.
“There is nothing like having a sense of what’s going on in your body and how this drug, procedure, surgery or diagnostic test is going to make a difference in how you feel and your ability to move around and work,” she says. “You can get information like that [online] that’ s really important for your own self-confidence and your ability to talk to your clinicians.”