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Internet and Health Care in the United States, France, Germany and Japan

A market research company, Harris Interactive, recently surveyed Internet users seeking health information in the United States, France, Germany and Japan.

It is estimated that 110 million people in the United States are seeking health information on the Internet. The number drops to 48 million in Japan, 31 million in Germany and only 14 million in France.

Americans had the highest percentage of Internet users polled who felt that health information on the Web is trustworthy. Ninety-three percent of American users felt this way. The percentages drifted downward in other countries with a low of 60% in France and 59% in Japan.

Americans had a much higher percentage that discussed Internet information with their physicians, this being 38%. Patients in other countries had a much lower percentage, which discussed Internet health information with their physicians.

Of interest is that 52% of Americans felt there should be government regulation of Internet health care information content. At present of course, there is absolutely no government regulation in this area.

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