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Four Types of People Living at the Healthcare Tipping Point

My eyes were glued on a series of research reports published by the Pew Research Center in 2013 and 2014. Since then, the Pew Internet: Health fact sheet has been published and I find myself equally intrigued like a feline attracted to catnip. A quick glance at the flurry of stats sprinkled throughout the page reveals a piping hot trend: healthcare is at a tipping point.

Sure Obamacare (a.k.a. Affordable Care Act) is nudging moms and pops to join insurance exchanges and there are seismic technological shifts giving rise to wearable tracking devices, often moonlighting as your smartphone. Yet, the tipping point I refer to in healthcare is one where we see the “30% barrier” being broken:

  • Fewer than 30% of Americans have yet to search for health information online. Conversely, over 70% already have.
  • Over 30% of adults who are age 50+ or living with multiple chronic diseases have used the Internet to search for health information.
  • 30% of people who had a serious health issue turned to non-medical sources for help.
  • Over 30% of U.S. adults say that at one time or another they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have.
  • Over 30% of those who are tracking their health indicators are also sharing their records or notes with another person or group.

More than ever before, most Americans are one of four types of people – either e-Patient, e-Survivor, e-Caregiver or e-Supporter – increasingly using the Internet to search for health information online. Many are relying on non-medical sources and the knowledge shared by others to try to figure out a diagnosis before they go to a doctor. Healthcake is an online personal health assistant that brings health stories together from different sites based on a person’s health interests, making it less time-consuming to find quality content, ratings and reviews.

What type of e-person are you?