Several online health sites began in or have a presence in Washington. With the healthcare reform debate centered in the nation's capital, experts say they think more sites will start up in the region. Online health sites have been booming in the past five years, experts say, driven by the popularity of social networking and patients' desire to become more empowered in the increasingly complex medical field. Many of the sites have recently experienced heavy traffic from users seeking information on the H1N1 virus. Officials of the Health 2.0 Conference, which tracks the industry, estimate that the number of such sites climbed to nearly 500 from about 35 four years ago.
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