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Information Technology for Patient Empowerment in Healthcare by David Bates, Ronen Rozenblum, Maria Adela Grando, Eyal Zimlichman, Jim Warren, Marina Velikova, Maarten van der Heijden, Hanna Suominen, Roy Schoenberg, Yukari Schneider, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, Michael Poku, Margaret Piscitelli, Christopher Pentoney, Disty Pearson, Jihad Obeid, Martha Minniti, Paula Miller, Marjorie Miller, Michael L. Millenson, Mary McNamara, Ariane Marelli, Peter Lucas, Gondy Leroy, Gene Lazuta, David Lansky, Jeff Harwell, C. Martin Harris, Stephanie Glier, Yaorong Ge, Robert Farrell, Mary Jo Deering, Catalina Danis, Scott Cashon, John Jeffrey Carr, Asaf Bitton, Cynthia Baur, Sasha Ballen, Marion J. Ball, Wajeeh Bajwa, Mehnaz Adnan, Thomas Lee

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Jeff Harwell, Christopher Pentoney and Gondy Leroy

11 Finding and understanding medical information online

The internet provides a wealth of information brought together by millions of people. Searching for information is one of the most frequent online activities. As a result, search engines have become tremendously efficient in gathering more information and presenting it quickly and efficiently. The information is available at the click of a button and presented in bite-size text snippets.

There are two potential problems with today’s use of search engines that have an especially disturbing impact in health care. First of all, not all information is trustworthy, much is incomplete, biased or subjective, and finding a complete answer in response ...

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