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No consensus on broadband access and healthcare information


Thirty-four percent of Americans believe that lack of broadband Internet access is a "major disadvantage" when it comes to obtaining health information, according to the results a national phone survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. But 35% said that it is "not a disadvantage" to obtaining health information, and 28% reported the belief that lack of access is a "minor disadvantage."

The survey included 2,252 American adults (744 of them interviewed on cell phones) conducted between April 29 and May 30. The margin of error is two percentage points for the total sample.

Two-thirds of American adults (66%) now have a broadband Internet connection at home, a figure that is little changed from the 63% with a high-speed home connection at a similar point in 2009, according to the research.

Other findings:

  • Thirty-one percent of respondents reported believing that lack of broadband is a "major disadvantage" when it comes to learning new things that might enrich or improve their lives. Thirty-one percent said that lack of access is a "minor disadvantage," and 32% reported that it is "not a disadvantage."

  • Twenty-nine percent of respondents said that lack of broadband is a "major disadvantage" when it comes to using government services. Twenty-seven percent reported that lack of access is a "minor disadvantage," and 37% said that it is "not a disadvantage."

  • Twenty-three percent of respondents said that lack of broadband is a "major disadvantage" when it comes to keeping up with news and information. Twenty-seven percent said they think that lack of access is a "minor disadvantage," and 47% said it is "not a disadvantage."

The American Board of Medical Specialties plans to incorporate the ?meaningful use? of health information technology into its maintenance of certification program.

Fifty-three percent of those going online for health information report that they have discussed information they found online with their doctors, and 51% say they have searched for information on the Web based on discussions with their doctors, according to a new Harris Poll.

Support and monitoring via the telephone for patients who have chronic heart failure helps reduce the risk of mortality from all causes, and hospitalizations related to the chronic heart failure, according to a study recently published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. These interventions also were found to improve patient quality of life, reduce costs, and improve evidence-based prescribing.

Americans spend 40% of their time online participating in social networking activities, playing games, or emailing. Almost 25% of the time online is spent with social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8%.