Human Factors International report on trends in health information seeking

According to the latest issue of Health Factors International newsletter, World Usability Day this year focuses on health care. HFI released a report today on trends in seeking health information via the Web. There are some interesting implications for elders.

Comparing search habits in 2002 and 2006, as you would expect, the number of information seekers has grown significantly. At the same time, more and more specialized information has become available.

I am much heartened by this news, as I envision tens of thousands of us elders annually for the next few years hitting the ether to find ways to be better informed about our health and quality of life as we age.

In effect, this will eventually help lessen the burden on younger, smaller generations as we elders shoulder more of the responsibility for our own health care by staying connected to the community and continuing to learn.

Watching Ronni Bennett's presentation at Gnomedex and the robust Q & A period following, I was struck by the intense response of many of the younger audience to explore the issue of usability for a huge chunk of the population. Kudos to Ronni for making that conversation public and raising awareness, and to Chris Pirillo for offering her a high-exposure venue. Her presentation deserves much more comment.

Cool beans.