Evaluating health-related information found on Internet can be a challenge due to the large amount of opinions, concepts and explanations available, much of which is not accurate or reliable.
In general and at different ages, people turn to the internet to solve any health-related question, according to Google in the US among the most searched questions are:
- How to lower blood pressure?
- How long does the flu last?
- What causes kidney stones?
- What is HPV?
- How to lower cholesterol?
- How to take care of mental health?
- Covid-19 and its variants
There are thousands of websites related to medicine.
Some provide reliable information, some do not, some medical news is up to date, but some are not.
Choosing which websites to trust is an important step in gathering reliable health information.
How to know if health information on Internet is reliable
Here are some tips to help you evaluate health information on the Internet:
Look for reliable sources:
Websites that end in “.gov” or “.edu” are generally the most reliable.
Reputable organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website are good sources of accurate health information.
Check the dates:
Make sure the information you are looking at is current and relevant to your needs.
Information from a few years ago may no longer be accurate.
Qualified authors of health information on Internet:
Look for information written by health professionals or reputable organizations with expertise in the field.
Avoid information from sources that have a vested interest in promoting a particular product or treatment.
Evidence-based health information:
High-quality health information should be based on scientific evidence and verified research.
Find references and citations that support the information presented.
Check information through multiple sources:
Don’t rely on a single source of information. Try to find information from multiple sources to get a complete perspective.
Consult a professional:
It is important to remember that not all health information found on the Internet is suitable for everyone, and it is best to consult a health professional before making any decisions on this topic.
Health and medical apps:
Today there are many apps that help people manage their health and wellness, which include:
- Fitness and exercise: these apps track physical activity, monitor progress, and provide personalized workout plans.
- Mental health: they provide tools to help users manage stress, anxiety and depression.
- Women’s health: these apps provide information and resources specific to women’s health.
- Medical Referral: these apps provide information on medical conditions, treatments and medications.
- Symptom and Appointment Check: these apps help users find and schedule medical appointments and provide information about possible symptoms and conditions.
Social Networking and Health Information on Internet
While social media can be a great way to connect with others and learn about new health and wellness trends, it is important to be mindful of the messages you receive.
Not all information on social media is accurate and some sources may be biased or have hidden agendas.
For news, consult sources from reputable organizations and experienced journalists in the field.
If you prefer to consult any books, make sure they are written by reputable authors and those with credentials in the relevant health field.
Consulting with a health care professional is the best option
Finally, in general it is always best to consult with a physician or health care professional for medical advice and treatment.
They can help you understand the information you are receiving and ensure that it is accurate and appropriate for your individual needs.
Our sources: https://www.nia.nih.gov/, https://www.elespectador.com/
Information on the My Health Fair website should not be construed as professional advice or medical recommendations.
Readers should direct any questions regarding personal health care to licensed physicians or other appropriate health care professionals.