Health on the Net

By Rachel Walden — August 4, 2010

The Health on the Net foundation is conducting a survey of how people (both health professionals and patients) use the Internet for finding and accessing health information. They estimate that the survey will take 10-15 minutes, and it is available in both English and French.

You may have seen HON code certification on some health-related websites; the certification denotes that the site has met certain criteria for credibility and transparency, and has applied for certification and been approved. HON provides a list of some of the principles used in evaluating health websites.

Other guides for evaluating the quality and reliability of health information websites are provided by the National Library of Medicine (my current favorite, available in English and Spanish), the National Cancer Institute, and the Medical Library Association. NLM also provides an online tutorial with more visual examples (although I can’t seem to find captions or a transcript for the audio track).

If you’re interested in reading more about how people are using the internet for health information, the Pew Internet & American life Project provides commentary, presentations and reports on topics such as chronic disease, social media, e-patients, and the use of the web for health information in general. Additionally, is a great place for kind of geeky discussions by patients on how to become more informed about their health (largely via the internet) and more engaged in their own care.

2 responses to “Health on the Net”

  1. Ooh…and they let you leave an email to be notified of the survey results when available!

  2. Thank you so much for all the excellent information on non-peer reviewed health websites, i.e., resources that may have good health information but are not directly linked to the journals and peer reviewed publications that pre-internet days were the sole source of health information we could trust.

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