This recently posted article in The Sun discusses the role of our dear friend “Dr. Google” in fueling hypochondria. Some of the Google statistics used give us an idea of how more and more people are using the internet to obtain health information - it claims that the search volume for the term "how to know chest pains are serious" has risen 8,781 percent in the past 3 years (it would be nice to see the data here, as this seems like quite a steep increase). What might be some of the reasons for increased health-related searching online?
One obvious reason seems to be that more and more people are using the internet as a way of getting all kinds of information. It’s inevitable that as there are more internet users, there will be more health-related searches. It seems that the total number of world internet users will keep increasing throughout the near future, so we can expect there to be more and more searches regarding health information.
An interesting reason that the author of this article brings up is that people aren’t seen by their doctors quickly enough, leading them to search for information on their own. Is a shortage of physicians fueling cyberchondria?
What might be some other reasons why more people are using the internet to search for health information?