The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has detailed laws which clearly define how to handle any patient’s personal information. Such data is referred to as the protected health information (PHI) and is made …read more
The Big Three Online Health Information Websites
Following are three major, reputable online health information sites – no charlatans, quacks or snake-oil salesmen here.
This is a site you’ve probably already heard of and may have already used. WebMD generated almost $300 million in revenues last year, nearly all of it from advertising. It is currently the Internet’s largest online health information site and gets over 12% of all health-information traffic. It’s a great starting point for your research on almost any health topic. For example, the Disease and Conditions section lets you focus on a specific health problem. Or you can search topics by channels, such as Health and Wellness, Newly Diagnosed, or Living with Illness. However, as you read, notice that some sections are sponsored and may be commercially-slanted.
This site, affiliated with the world-famous Mayo Clinic, is the second-most-used online health information website. Here you’ll find hundreds of in-depth and authoritative articles, an index of diseases, a variety of Condition Centers (for example, Alzheimer’s), and Healthy Living Centers (such as Women’s Health). To research specific medical tests and treatments, consult the Health Decisions Guide. Mayo Clinic specialists provide most of the content for this huge site.
Founded by Steve Case, who previously founded America Online, Revolution Health is an amazingly comprehensive online health information source. Registration is necessary but this merely requires that you provide your email address and set up a password. For this small investment in time you will have doctor-finding and rating tools, hospital comparative rating charts, disease/medication/treatment research tools, health risk assessment, exercise tracking tools, a 6-week healthy living program, many free newsletters, and much more. You can also sign up for a Premium Membership (for a fee) which provides a “Health Assistant and Advocate” to help you in dealing with virtually any type of health question or concern, from finding training options to dealing with your health insurance provider.
Other High-Quality Online Health Information Websites
As said above, there are thousands of online health information websites out there and you could spend weeks trying to investigate them all. Following are a few of the best — websites often cited or recommended in authoritative health and wellness newsletters and reference sites.
– Maintained by the National Library of Medicine, you can access information about more than 400 diseases and conditions, a guide to pharmaceutical drugs, links to NIH clearinghouses, and many other useful resources.
Healthfinder – This U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services site provides a gateway to more than 1,800 agencies and Clinical Pharmacy Careers health organizations. Excellent resource for initial research on specific medical problems, conditions, diseases, etc.
– Comprehensive Library of children’s health articles.
-Offers valuable special-category sections, for example women with disabilities and minority women’s health.
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