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Few policy areas illustrate the potential power of information more clearly than healthcare. The internet is becoming a valuable source of information for patients prior to visiting a doctor; by those in search of a second opinion; and by friends and relatives trying to inform themselves about the condition of someone they know. The wide availability of health information online also arguably has profound implications for the relationship between patients and medical professionals. It also offers the potential for users of health services to provide information to one another about both their medical conditions and their experiences of using the NHS.

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