Online medical surveys: using the Internet as a research tool

MD Comput. 1998 Mar-Apr;15(2):116-20.


Technologic advances and popularization of the World Wide Web now allow researchers to use the Internet for medical surveys. The Internet provides access to a rapidly growing and widespread population of potential research subjects. Specific populations can be selected from the larger Internet community, which is itself becoming more representative of society as a whole. The hypertext markup language can be used to create interactive forms with an intuitive and intelligent interface. Response collection by means of common gateway interface scripts can afford automated data compilation and exportation to other software packages. Furthermore, real-time evaluation of incoming data can ensure that the data are complete and accurate before they are accepted. Used properly and for appropriate research projects, the Internet can provide a fast, cost-effective, and efficient mechanism for administering medical surveys.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bias
  • Computer Communication Networks*
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Humans
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance / methods*
  • Research Design
  • Software
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • User-Computer Interface