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Health e-People: The Online Consumer Experience

Mary Cain, Robert Mittman, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, and Jennifer Wayne, Institute for the Future

This report describes the motivations and behaviors of consumers seeking online health information and services. It identifies the market opportunities and the progression of products and services to be offered online.

Health information on the Internet is maturing and going through significant changes. The most important development is that consumers are actually going online to look for health information, to communicate with one another and with providers about their conditions, to purchase pharmaceuticals and other health products online, and even to receive care.

This five-year forecast, published in 2000, looks at three groups of online consumers: the well, the newly diagnosed, and the chronically ill and their caregivers. It explores their use of the Internet for health-oriented content, community, commerce, and care. This report follows and deepens the Institute for the Future's previous forecast of January 1999, The Future of the Internet in Health Care: Five-Year Forecast, which described Internet-based health care and forecasted growth in leading-edge applications based on a series of drivers and barriers.

The complete report is available under Document Downloads below.