How many Health 2.0 consumers? Manhattan Research says 99 million

Our friends at Manhattan Research have been tracking the online activities of Americans for a long time and earlier last month they released the latest version of Cybercitizen Health; they’re up to v10.0 if you’re counting. And the results are in–everyone’s at it, with 72% of adults going online for health information. Manhattan has now basically caught up to both Harris Interactive and Pew in their counting–even though they continue to annoy me by using the absolute totals (e.g. 61.1 million) in their reporting rather than percentages. (C’mon guys you can’t get that level of accuracy from a poll, not even a big one!)

What’s more interesting is that they’ve found 99 million (or by my reverse calculations 44% of all) American adults who are what they call “E-Empowered Consumers.” These people used the Internet to make a medical decision or challenge their doctor’s opinion or in some other way empowered their independence. And those 61.1 million? They’re the 26% of American adults who used health information online instead of calling a doctor.

In addition, in some data she shared with me semi-privately, Meredith Abreu Ressi (VP of Resarch at Manhattan and–in your bonus trivia–spouse of the CEO of TweetWhatYouEat) found 12 million using an “Online program that helps me manage my condition” and 6 million using a handheld mobile device for “tracking or managing a medical condition.” Now that’s less than 8% and 4% of adults respectively–that’s why the millions sounds better! But it is a respectable base of “quantified selfers” for the Health 2.0 companies to get working on.

It’s the Health 2.0 community’s role to increase that number. Or if you like to make the “e-Patients” as high a percentage of the “Cyberchondriacs” as possible. And if you want to get into the naming issue, you only need look at this blog post from a while back at e-Patients.net where things got so heated the name of noted Farsi philosopher Freddy Mercury was invoked to make peace.

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