GROWING USE OF THE INTERNET TO ACCESS HEALTHCARE INFORMATION
The public continues to go to the Internet for healthcare information. Low back pain remains the second most common reason for an individual to visit their primary care physician. It is only surpassed by infectious disease. The average patient will go home after a visit to their doctor and search for information about their signs, symptoms and spinal condition. They will log on to the Internet to do it. The curious patient will go online to check their doctor's credentials, to confirm what they are told, to research their condition, to see what diagnostic tests are available, to learn more about treatment options and to identify what they can do for themselves. The trend continues to grow. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 55% of all Americans with internet access have used the internet this year to access health related information. This accounts for about 52,000,000 people. Many of these people will return to the Internet to research there healthcare concerns many times throughout the year. The Pew Internet & American Life Project produces reports that explore the impact of the Internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life. The Pew Project is an authoritative source on the evolution of the Internet.