At least two thirds of US adults use the internet to access health information. The accuracy and quality of health and science information found on news media websites, corporate websites of the healthcare industry, blogs of healthcare providers and social media networks varies widely.
Nevertheless, this information can have a profound influence on the healthcare-related decision-making of patients. The anti-vaccination movement or an excessive fear of GMO foods are examples of how fragments of information removed from their broader scientific context can lead to paranoia and ultimately poor decisions that compromise public and individual health.
Improving health and science communication is a major public health challenge.