U.S. adults living with chronic disease are significantly less likely than healthy adults to have access to the internet (62% vs. 81%).How will these patients gain access to valuable online disease management resources? After all, aren't these the individuals who should be using online personal health records and interactive disease management tools? Shouldn't they be the ones participating in online forums, sharing stories, and encouraging each other with social support? So much consumer health education content is written specifically for patients who have several chronic conditions and who need to learn ways to improve the self management of their conditions. How will they gain access to this information if they're not getting online?
As the general patient population gets more comfortable with computers and the Internet, they are also at risk for misinformation. After all, a large proportion of health content that's published on the Internet is inaccurate and I don't think we'll ever know how to quantify this amount given the volume of blogs and forums where people are talking about medical conditions.
You can read the report titled, "Chronic Disease and the Internet" here. This report is the result of collaboration between the Pew Internet Project and the California HealthCare Foundation