Warning: The Patient You are Chatting With May Not Be a Patient

Every year around 100 million people seek online health information about diseases and conditions. Some connect with other patients, swapping stories and comparing treatments. But are the stories from real patients? A firm in New York recently agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty after it was discovered patients touting their products were actually employees.  Another problem: Patients often do not understand what they read.

Comments (5)

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  1. Paul H. says:

    This does not surprise me one bit. In fact I would be surprised if it were not the case.

  2. Larry C. says:

    Like other markets, firms will stgep forward to “brand” their chat rooms and encourage others to trust the brand. That’s how quality competition works.

  3. Nancy says:

    I agree with Larry. We need to encourage the development of chat rooms patients can trust.

  4. Linda Gorman says:

    “Patients often do not understand what they read.” Neither does Congress.

  5. Joe S. says:

    Linda, most of the time, Congress doesn’t bother to read. They just vote how they are told to vote these days.