Americans use the Internet as a tool to follow news and collect information about medical issues and health care. The Pew Internet & American Life Project studies the availability and usefulness of health information on the Web and the ways people use these resources to deal with medical conditions. Data about this online activity are gathered through public opinion polling, online surveys and other research methods.

Recent topics explored by the Pew Internet & American Life Project include the timeliness of online health news; the number of Americans who view the Web as their No. 1 source for health tips; and patterns of prescription drugs purchases on the Internet. The data help journalists, academic researchers and the public learn more about how the Internet is used as a health care tool in America.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a Pew subsidiary based in Washington, D.C. For more information about the Internet and health care, visit the Pew Internet & American Life Project Web site.


  • Family Caregivers are Wired for Health

    Jun 20, 2013 - Four-in-ten adults in the U.S. are caring for an adult or child with significant health issues, up from 30% in 2010, and many navigate health care with the help of technology.

  • Mobile Health Has Found Its Market In Smartphone Owners

    Nov 08, 2012 - A new Pew Research Center report finds over half of smartphone owners gather health information on their phones, compared with 6% of non-smartphone owners.

  • Mobile Health Has Found Its Market In Smartphone Owners

    Nov 08, 2012 - Pew Research reports over half of smartphone owners gather health information on their phones, compared with 6% of non-smartphone owners.

  • Family Caregivers Turn to Internet For Information and Guidance

    Jul 12, 2012 - Fully 30 percent of U.S. adults help a loved one with personal needs, manage finances or arrange for outside care for another adult or child with a disability. Of this group, 88% use the internet to find health information

  • The Social Life of Health Information, 2011

    May 12, 2011 - The online conversation about health is being driven forward by two forces: 1) the availability of social tools and 2) the motivation, especially among people living with chronic conditions, to connect with each other.        

  • Patients Expand Support Networks to Include Online Peers

    Feb 28, 2011 - About one-in-five internet users have gone online to find others with health concerns similar to theirs. Those with chronic conditions are even more likely to reach out to peers.

  • Accessing Health Topics on the Internet

    Feb 01, 2011 - Health information remains one of the most important subjects that internet users research online. Symptoms and treatments continue to dominate internet users' health searches, but food safety, drug safety, and pregnancy information are among eight new topics included in the Pew Research Center's latest survey.

  • Mobile Health 2010

    Oct 19, 2010 - The online health-information environment is going mobile. 17% of cell phone users have used their phone to look up health or medical information and 9% have software applications or "apps" on their phones that help them track or manage their health.

  • Chronic Disease and the Internet

    Mar 24, 2010 - Americans living with a chronic disease are significantly less likely than healthy adults to have Internet access. The majority are online, however, and they are more likely to share what they know and to learn from their peers, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project and the California HealthCare Foundation.

  • The Social Life of Online Health Information

    Jun 11, 2009 - While most Americans still turn to a doctor, a growing number is going online for medical issues, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Fully 61% have used the internet for health info—up from 25% in 2000—and most report positive experiences. More adults are also turning to the Web for fitness and exercise information as well.

  • Search: 'Swine Flu'

    May 07, 2009 - The public ranks the internet most useful as a source of information on the virus. Where and how are people finding flu facts online?

  • Health News Coverage in the U.S. Media

    Nov 24, 2008 - At a time when health care is a major public policy issue, how have the U.S. media covered the complex subject of health? How much coverage does it generate? Which aspects get the most scrutiny? What media outlets pay the most attention? This report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Project for Excellence in Journalism examines those questions.

  • The Engaged E-patient Population

    Aug 26, 2008 - This Pew Internet Project survey finds that people turn to the Internet for health information when the stakes are high and the connection fast.  

  • Information Searches That Solve Problems

    Dec 30, 2007 - Report examines at how people use the Internet, libraries and government agencies when they need help.

  • E-patients With a Disability or Chronic Disease

    Oct 08, 2007 - Just half of adults with chronic conditions use the internet; but once online, they are avid consumers of health information.

  • Online Health Search 2006

    Oct 29, 2006 - Report finds that eight-in-ten Internet users search for health information online, and most of them are pleased by what they find -- though few check the quality of the information.

  • Survey Examines How Americans Access Health Information Online

    May 17, 2005 - Survey results on how Americans use the Internet to find health information. Includes trends in health topics, demographics and implications for the future.

  • Few Purchase Prescription Drugs Online

    Oct 11, 2004 - A survey of American's activities around prescription drug purchases online.

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