It is difficult to imagine the number of people who daily access the Internet as a source of medical information. Requests start with recommendations on healthy eating and lifestyle and end with serious diseases and their treatment. Doctors and experts in this field insist on enlightenment on the topic of health and products to improve the condition.
The world is becoming a place where any product can be purchased online and ordered from any service. The field of medicine is one of the last that functions autonomously and has not yet completely switched to the digital level. Telemedicine already exists, but due to the specific needs and problems, most patients still turn to doctors for help. While physicians receive their patients from the health database or through referrals from other physicians, it is increasingly necessary for every specialist to have a strong connection to the Internet. Access to online medicine is now available not only to young patients. Anyone with a smartphone in their pocket can check out the websites of healthcare providers.
Statistics show that even those doctors who receive their patients by recommendation and have a high reputation should still think about digitizing their profile and services. Over time, active participation on the Internet will become a decisive factor in the choice of medical services for the developing generation. Patients who are accustomed to or just learning to search for medical information on the Internet pay attention to several factors. The first thing that attracts a person to a website is testimonials from real visitors, and satisfied patients, which will be easy to find.
Another obvious benefit of online healthcare resources is the ease of handling requests for patient care. We are talking about FAQs, chatbots, and communication through instant messengers. Providing quality communication between the client and the competent person attracts people to use the Internet to search for medical information in the long term. A study was conducted that showed that 82% of respondents consider quality service in this area to be the decisive factor when choosing a service provider. Interest in receiving services on the Internet is growing in proportion to the activity of doctors on the Internet, which provides patients with the expected experience.
Internet SafeSearch Rules
With the growing popularity of searching for any information about health on the Internet, the risk of encountering inaccurate or malicious information is also growing. Even in the field of medicine, people have learned to make money on “information garbage”. Users are required to be increasingly vigilant and diligent in finding good information on the Internet that they can rely on.
Website Sponsor: Where the Information Comes From
The first step is to understand that any site must be sponsored by someone in order to appear on the Internet. It is worth asking yourself the question: is it clear where the funding comes from? This information is needed in order to understand the purpose of the site and its mission. It is worth paying attention to the website address for more information:
- .edu is used to refer to an educational resource, such as from an educational institution such as a university, college, or school.
- .org is used by non-profit organizations. Among them may be societies oriented toward science, medicine, or professional research groups Canadian pharmacy center.
- .com is known to identify commercial websites such as pharmaceutical companies, medical companies, and hospitals.
This little understanding of the elements of a website will make it easier to find information and save time. In frequent cases, when a person needs help in a specific sector, this will be the deciding factor in choosing a website.
The Author of the Information and Who Views it
When publishing any information, any user will have access to data about the source. It is worth asking how much the person who posted the information is an expert in the medical field, whether he works in the relevant organization and what then its goals are. It should be clearly understood what connection the author has with the website or his financial share in posting information on the page. Information published anywhere must be verified by a medical professional — reliable sources always report such data to the user. There will also be contacts that the patient can use to contact the author or sponsor of the website. Usually, email and mobile phones can be found in the “contacts” category or at the bottom of each page.
The Type of the Content
It is also necessary to understand the difference between the quality of content and its type. For example, the website of a medical institution and a personal blog or page on a social network has a big difference and the level of trust in them should also be different. After all, a person who is interested in a medical topic and a person who has scientific data obtained in the course of research will provide information in different ways and the purpose of submission will also be different. Any information read on the Internet cannot serve as a definition of a diagnosis or a method of treatment — consultation with a doctor remains the basis of treatment and in no case should it be neglected. For advice and treatment, you need to contact a medical institution.
Relevance of Information
When searching for a website, it is worth putting a filter that will show only new information, updated. No one should make treatment decisions based only on old information. The date can be viewed directly on the main page of the search engine, as well as on the website itself at the bottom of the page or in the title of the article. Some pages are actively updated and some are not — outdated information can also be useful, but it is better to link to the most current one, which is based on the latest research and findings.
Purpose of the Website
By becoming familiar with the purpose or motive of a website, it will be easier for a person to understand and judge the content. There is a difference in the message and presentation of information: inform, explain or sell the product. It is better to trust such websites that show scientific information based on data, and not on the personal opinion of one person.
Surely everyone at least once in their life came across such medical pages on the Internet that offers miraculous medicines to cure all diseases. When encountering such “magic”, one should treat it with great skepticism and try to avoid this dramaturgy. Those treatment suggestions that seem too good to be true should be weeded out right away. It is recommended to check for other websites with the same information. Even websites that link to trusted sources will not always be endorsed or officially endorsed by them.