er increasing demands at the healthcare delivery systems, expectations of the beneficiaries), in order to improve efficiency of clinicians and enhance quality of life of the populace on the planet. It is worth mentioning that there are numerous applications of Information Technology in healthcare and each of them is aimed at empowering all or at least one of the following stakeholders: healthcare delivery systems, clinicians and the patients alike. This research throws light two key issues those have been posing challenges for Consumer Health Informatics – one of the applications of information technology in healthcare. The research also lists the steps taken to address the challenges being faced by consumer health informatics.
Consumer health informatics has been defined as (Eysenbach, 2000) “the branch of medical informatics that analyses consumers needs for information; studies and implements methods of making information accessible to consumers; and models and integrates consumers preferences into medical information systems.” The domain of consumer health informatics is majorly centered around the general information and advice from clinicians and other paramedical personnel, and this advice pertains to subjects like nutirition, general wellness, disease management, smoking etc. Users of consumer health informatics are not only those who are suffering from various ailments but even those who have been treated and are willing to share their experiences through bulletin boards, discussion forums and modalities of instant messaging, this kind of information sharing forms a two way communication model as this could take place when the users exchange information with the healthcare service providers and other users (Kieschnick, Adler, & Jimison, 1996). Social networking tools and modalities are helping the users of consumer health informatics to share information.
IT researchers and practitioners have claimed that on one side IT applications