How to Use the Internet to get Reliable and Good Information on Health
Posted Apr 09 2012 7:53pm
Back in 1997, my husband used the internet to get a profile of a medical diagnosis for juvenile papillomatosis and in the end - my husband was 100% spot on with the condition thus supporting the case that you can get good information from the Internet. In the gluten-free world, people have been using information on the internet to help get themselves diagnosed with Celiac disease for a long time. I have seen a dramatic shift in the number of individuals and companies coming on board to provide "health" information and services since 2007. What concerns me is that some of these individuals do not have a background in anything health related. One man wanted to connect to my website and when I started asking questions about his training and background in health it became readily apparent that he had zero personal education, training or background. What this means to consumers is that you are in a "Buyer Beware" situation.
So, there is really great health information available to consumers on the world wide web, but you have to know which sites to run from and which sites are above board as there are sites that are bad and should be avoided. Here are the factors to look at when deciding if a website is one you should trust or walk away from.
What is the person's credibility, stature, expertise, education or training? Who endorses them? Who are they affiliated with? What does their resume contain? A reputable website will contain specific information about the person, owner, staff, or other individuals providing services. It should contain pictures of the individuals as well as a phone number and address for use in contacting them. If there is no picture, no bio, no contact information, no resume - I would walk away and never return. This is a huge red flag for questionable individuals, companies and organizations. The website material should give you a clear indication that they have the background to serve your health needs. If that information is missing, you should question why.
No Free Content
If the website has No Free Content - I would walk away especially if you have to "register" to view the content, or see more information. Content is defined as FREE documents, tip sheets, white papers, recipes, videos, blog entries, etc. If you have to register, it is not free. The price of admission IS your contact information even if it is only your e-mail address. Free content does not in and of itself mean that the person is reputable or has credibility.
Google The Person(s)
You might be surprised what this will reveal. If someone is an "expert" they should have pages and pages that they show up on in a Google Search. If you are new to this process or have not vetted anyone using this process - ask for help. You can even post your question here and I will reply!
You want to get your medical information from your own doctor or health care provider. Information from the Internet can be enormously helpful if you know what you are doing and what to avoid. I hope that this is helpful to you! Let me know if you have any questions as I am here to help!