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General statistics:

The Internet World Stats:

This website gives worldwide statistics about the world's Internet usage. For example, one can see that while Internet use increased by 380% between 2000 and 2009, only about 25.6% of the worldwide population have access to the Internet.  

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Internet Health Surveys:

October 2010 : Do you manage your health with your smartphone?
Title : Mobile Health 2010

This survey has been realised by the Pew and Internetin 2010. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between August 9 and September 13, 2010, among a sample of 3,001 adults, age 18 and older.  Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish and included 1,000 cell phone interviews.  For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.  For results based on Internet users (n=2,065) and cell phone users (n=2,485), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The online health-information environment is going mobile. 17% of cell phone users have used their phone to look up health or medical information and 9% have software applications or "apps" on their phones that help them track or manage their health.

More than 300'000 health applications have been found (mainly iphone and Android).
In addition, 35% of U.S. adults have software applications or "apps" on their phones (but only one-in-four adults actually use them).

Summary:
http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1767/mobile-phone-search-health-medical-information

May 6th 2010 : Towards integrating the Internet better in the patient-physician relationship (in french)
Title : Les conséquences des usages d'Internet sur les relations patients médecins

This survey was conducted by the Conseil National de l'Ordre des Médecins of France. They examined the use of the Internet in France and its impact on the evolution of the patient-physician relationship.

It shows that among other things, among the French people, physicians are considered to be the most reliable source of health information. However, 71% of them use the Internet to search for health information. It also appears that among these 71%, 28% know that the sites they visit are certified, and among the 28%, 12% consult only certified websites.

March 24th 2010: The Pew Internet & American Life Project
Title: Chronic Disease and the Internet

Adults living with chronic disease are disproportionately offline in an online world. Recent survey data from the Pew Internet Project and the California HealthCare Foundation show that adults living with chronic disease are significantly less likely than healthy adults to have access to the internet:

• 81% of adults reporting no chronic diseases go online.
• 62% of adults living with one or more chronic disease go online.


People managing multiple diseases are less likely to have internet access:


• 68% of adults reporting one chronic disease go online.
• 52% of adults living with two or more chronic diseases go online.

March 4th 2010: The Pew Internet & American Life Project
Title: All together now : the Internet does not replace health professionals

Personal reflections by Susannah Fox on an article published in  New England Medicine on March 4, 2010. 

March 3th 2010: The Pew Internet & American Life Project
Title : People still trust their doctors rather than the Internet

Personal reflections by Susannah Fox on an article published in  New England Medicine on March 4, 2010.

September 2009 : Israeli study on the relationship of physicians with e-patients 
Title : The e-Patient: A Survey of Israeli Primary C are Physicians’ Responses to Patients’ Use of Online Information during the Consultation

More information


June 2009 : The Pew Internet & American Life Project 
Title : The social life of health information

This survey was provided by The Pew Internet & American Life Project in 2009, which analyzes the behavior of American people when seeking health information on the Internet in 2009.

More information


November 2008 : Microsoft study
Title : Cyberchondria: Studies of the Escalation of Medical Concerns in Web Search

This study provides evidences that Internet search engines promote cyberchondria. Microsoft defines cyberchondria as a hightened level of anxiety due to health research on the Internet.

August 2008: The Pew Internet & American Life Project
Title : The engages e-patient population

Discusses several statisticical data on health research on the Internet. It shows that the Internet connection speed is a promoting factor in Internet health research. 

2006-2007 : WHIST survey  : Survey conducted by INSERM (In French)
Title : Enquête web sur les habitudes de recherche d’informations liées à la santé sur Internet

This study shows the social stratification of Internet use for research on medical and health information and its implications on the management of their health and the care utilization.
The typical profile of a health information researcher, as observed by other studies, is checked. The typical profile is that of a young or middle aged woman, with a high level of education, employed, living with a partner,  having a great Internet experience and facing a health problem.
The results also indicate differing use of the Internet with regards to health between health professionals and the general public.

2005-2007: European survey on health Internet
Title : eHealth trends across Europe 2005-2007

Survey conducted in collaboration with the WHO. It was conducted by telephone by a Norwegian telemedicine organization with a representative panel of people in seven European countries. This survey was conducted twice with eighteen month intervals to study the evolution of the usage of the Internet with regards to health.

More information

Canadian study on Internet utilization in 2005 and 2007
Results of the 2005's survey:

Survey conducted in collaboration with the WHO. It was conducted by telephone by a Norwegian telemedicine organization with a representative panel of people in seven European countries. This survey was conducted twice with eighteen month intervals to study the evolution of the usage of the Internet with regards to health.

More information


Results of the 2007’s survey

There are no  results about the use of Internet for health searches in this report. The 2007 survey focuses on Internet use in different regions of Quebec. The results presented do not show the types of search queries conducted by e-patients. There are about two years between the end of the study and publication of results.

Link to the questionnaire 2007’s canadian survey

Harris Interactive Inc surveys:

Since 2002, Harris Interactive has defined cyberchondria in terms of the use of the Internet to search for health information.

Harris Interactive has conducted several surveys about the Internet to understand the behavior of Internet users regarding Internet use and search for medical information. More studies are available here.

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Up-to-date information:

Health 2.0 news
Find up-to-date health information on this site!

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Books:

2007: E-patient, how they can help us heal health care
Autors : Tom Ferguson, MD (et le e-patient schoolar working group)

The foreword was written by Rainie and Susannah Fox from The Pew Internet & American Life Project. It presents the change in the relationship between patients and their care providers with the arrival of the 'e-patient' concept and increase of health care information on the Internet.


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