Learning About Consumer Health Informatics
Consumer health informatics is a branch of medical informatics that aims to analyze the interaction between information technology, or IT, and health consumers. Consumer health informatics examines the information needs of health consumers and studies and implements methods that enable the best information possible to reach these consumers. This field of informatics strives to bring the needs and wants of health consumers into medical information technologies. In the information age, health care must be approached differently than traditional methods, and consumer health informatics allows this to be possible. Health information systems and communication tools as part of consumer health informatics can provide skills, information, and support to health care consumers.
Consumer health more and more involves computers and other information
technology. Some areas that consumer health informatics strives to address and
improve include the quality of health care information available on the
Internet, the ease of access by consumers to electronic health records, and the
design of software to aid consumers and health care professionals. The field of
consumer health informatics works on developing, evaluating, and implementing
methods for supporting consumers in using health care information.
The benefits of consumer health informatics include the ability of health care consumers to better manage their health. This can be achieved by the availability of modern health care tools such as web sites providing reliable health care information, Internet based health decision tools, online support groups, and personal health records.
Consumer health informatics is an interdisciplinary field much as other informatics fields. Some disciplines that may find consumer health informatics valuable include public health, nursing, health education, and communication sciences. Many universities across the globe are increasingly offering consumer health informatics courses and programs of study.
Following are a few web site links that will direct you to upcoming consumer health informatics conferences, articles, and other resources.
http://www.health-informatics.org. HC2007, the 24th annual conference and exhibition, is Europe 's largest and most comprehensive health informatics event. The conference will be held in Harrogate , England during March of 2007. At this web site, learn about keynote speakers, accommodation, and travel, and also explore publications and information about past conferences.
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/320/7251/1713. This article by researcher Gunther Eysenbach provides great detail about consumer health informatics, including methods, recent advances, and health information on the Internet.
http://www.health-informatics.org/hc2004/P27_Marsden.pdf. This article explores the consumer health informatics network in Scotland , but can provide useful information to anyone wanting to learn about establishing and maintaining consumer health informatics networks. The article details limitations and issues with the consumer health informatics network in Scotland , which can be a valuable learning lesson to others.
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/archives/consumer-health-informatics.html. This extensive resource provides a large archive of articles and other information relating to consumer health informatics. Be sure to explore this web site to learn about any aspect of the field of consumer health informatics.
http://caphis.mlanet.org/resources/index.html. This web site is a great tool for professionals in the field of consumer health informatics wanting to learn more about setting up a consumer health library. Here you will find resources and articles about planning, establishing a budget, selecting tools, and other aspects of a consumer health library.
http://www.hitsummit.com/. The fourth Health Information Technology Summit will be held in March of 2007 at Washington D.C. Visit this web site to learn about keynote speakers, certification, special sessions, and registration.
http://www.medinfo2007.org/. Here you can find information on MedInfo2007, the 12th World Congress on Health Informatics, hosted by Health Informatics Society of Australia and to be held in Brisbane , Australia . Find out everything you will need to know about the conference, including registration, paper submission information and tips about visiting Australia .