IT: Consumers turn to web for medical information

Americans are increasingly reliant on the web for medical information, a new survey by the Pew Center reports. More consumers than ever before are turning to the Internet to research health conditions, explore alternative treatments and learn more about their healthcare providers. Sixty-six percent say they use the web to research "specific diseases and medical conditions," 40 percent say they use it to look for information on "prescription or OTC drugs," and 31 percent say they have used the web to find information on insurance.

In general, those numbers are up since Pew's last survey in 2002. However, it turns out healthcare companies are doing a so-so job of providing the information consumers seek, as many report problems finding accurate information.

For more on the Pew Survey:
- see this report from Pew (pdf)