The survey, which involved telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of more than 3000 US adults, is the latest from the Pew Research Center to document how Americans are increasingly seeking health and medical information online. It provides a snapshot of how patients' online behaviors are evolving as the web does—for instance, as a substantial number of individuals adopt mobile technology and as websites require readers to pay to access health information.
Nearly two-thirds of the adults surveyed reported going online to find health information. Of those who reported being “online diagnosers,” 46% said the condition they identified required medical attention, 38% said the condition could be cared for at home, and 11% said the condition fell somewhere in between. Slightly more than half (53%) consulted a physician about their findings, and 41% of online diagnosers reported that their physician confirmed their diagnosis.