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Consumer Health Informatics and Privacy - Research Paper Example

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Consumer Health Informatics and Privacy

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 facilitate formation of information and knowledge societies but on the other side IT applications present a risk of increasing the the gap between those who have access to these applications and those who do not have access to them (Irving, Klegar-Levy, Everette, Reynolds, & Lader, 1999). Hence it can be implied that one of the issues for consumer health informatics has been to not only show a speedy and a widespread adoption but also to bridge the digital divide. This is feasible if consumer health informatics targets to systematise and codify the needs of healthcare practitioners and consumers. Accordingly, medical informatics has made significant strides in standardising clinical vocabularies, coding systems and formats those not only enable error-free unambiguous care and treatment of the patients but these developments towards systamatisation and codification also facilitate clearer understanding of the treatments being administered to the patients (Rogers, 2005). Furthermore, the Federal government in the US in its document titled Healthy People 2010 – that lists the goals for improving country’s health over next ten years, identifies the importance of the quality of health information (on the internet) that is made available to the public. Since consumer health informatics heavily banks on health information on the internet (General Accounting Office, July 1996), in 2001 over 50million people were actively seeking information online (Cline & ...Show more

Summary

CONSUMER HEALTH INFORMATICS: The Challenges Author Name: XYZ Information Technology has had very strong social, economic and professional impacts, specifically in the developed world, it has touched and transformed everyone’s life from a student up to almost all the Heads of State…
Author : lydia14
Consumer Health Informatics and Privacy essay example
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