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December 1998

The Quality of Medical Information on the Internet: A New Public Health Concern

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998;116(12):1663-1665. doi:10.1001/archopht.116.12.1663

THE INTERNET, which was invented to facilitate the exchange of information between government scientists across the United States,1 has evolved into a heavily trafficked reference resource for the public. Via the World Wide Web and scores of newsgroups, the Internet now provides access to a tremendous volume of health-related information directed toward both health care professionals and laypersons. This medium, which can provide immediate access to a wealth of valuable information that might not be readily available through traditional sources, has been described as ushering in "the next transformation in the delivery of health care".2