More Than 75% of U.S. Physicians Used the Internet in Their Practices in 2001, AMA Study Finds
About half of U.S. physicians report that the Internet has had a "major impact" on their practices, according to a new study released Wednesday by the American Medical Association. For the study, the "2002 AMA Study on Physicians' Use of the World Wide Web," AMA researchers surveyed 977 U.S. physicians from August 2001 to December 2001. The study found that 78% of physicians used the Internet in their practices in 2001, and about 67% reported daily Internet use, an increase from 24% in 1997. The average number of hours that physicians spent online per week increased from 4.3 hours in 1997 to 7.1 hours in 2001, the study found. In addition, physicians said that they expected to use the Internet for an average of 9.6 hours per week over the next six months, according to the study. The study attributed the increased Internet use among physicians to the "rising influence of the Internet on clinical medicine." Although younger physicians used the Internet more than older physicians in 2001, the study found that Internet use among physicians ages 60 and older increased to 65% in 2001 from 43% in 2000. The study also found that, among the 30% of physicians who have Web sites, most use the sites to promote and advertise their practices or provide patient education and information. The 78-page study is available for purchase from the AMA (AMA release, 7/17). For more iHealth & Technology stories, visit iHealthBeat.org, a new Web publication sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.