Health Industry Insights(TM) Survey Finds Consumers Don’t Want Medical Information on Internet

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JANUARY 17, 2006 – A recent survey of 802 consumers carrying health insurance, conducted by IDC's Health Industry Insights, reveals one in three respondents (33%) cite medical information being made accessible on the Internet as a primary reason for feeling less comfortable about sharing information with primary care physicians (PCPs). Nearly half of respondents (47%) who are uncomfortable sharing information with PCPs also indicated "wanting control over who accesses their personal health information" as a reason, while 14% do not trust the health plan to adequately protect personal health information.

"Increasingly, consumer health information is being shared between payers and providers as they join forces to create regional health information networks," says Lynne Dunbrack, Program Director of Health Industry Insights and author of the report. "The opportunity to increase the quality of care and consumer health through widespread data access is tremendous. However, consumers are raising legitimate privacy and security concerns as more of their medical information is made available online. Health plans need to be proactive in allaying these concerns."

The survey also covered other important health-related topics, including the following:

— With regard to accessing medical information over the Internet, privacy and security issues are still a concern for consumers. Although 82% of respondents are online daily, only 3% go online to record their health information compared to 89% who use the Internet to research information on a specific condition.

— Of those who are online looking for health information, WebMD is the most popular online resource for consumers. The majority of respondents (71%) visit WebMD, followed by 59% who go to consumers' health plan site for health information.

— 72% of respondents value the privacy and confidentiality of their medical information as much as their financial information.

These findings, and more, are part of a recent reported published by Health Industry Insights entitled US Healthcare Consumer Survey 2005: Consumer Attitudes Toward Sharing Health Information (HI0003).

NOTE TO EDITOR: Any data reported from this survey must be sourced as originating from Health Industry Insights, an IDC company.

About Health Industry Insights, an IDC Company

Health Industry Insights provides health industry executives with research-based advisory and consulting services that enable health payer and provider organizations to maximize the business value of their technology investments, minimize technology risk through accurate planning, benchmark themselves against industry peers, adopt industry best practices for business/technology alignment, make more informed technology decisions and drive technology-enabled business innovation. Health Industry Insights provides full coverage of the health industry value chain from provider to payer to life science activities.

Staffed by senior analysts with significant technology experience in the health care industry, Health Industry Insights provides a portfolio of offerings that are relevant to both IT and business needs.

Founded in September 2005, Health Industry Insights is headquartered in Framingham, MA.

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