“The abundance of health information, powered by innovations in digital technology, should motivate many patients to become more engaged in their health, yet health information initiatives also face an array of obstacles. First, offering tools that facilitate the access and sharing of health information does not always translate into patient adoption, suggesting that the adage “if you build it, they will come” rarely applies. Second, poor-quality information and designs that are not user-centered may limit patients’ ability to act upon the information they receive. Third, health apps that are too complicated and inattentive to users’ needs and capabilities may leave vulnerable patients behind, perpetuating inequalities in health. Research on wearable deviceshas shown that less healthy and poorer individuals are the least likely to use such tools. Finally, low health literacy also may limit the impact of data-sharing platforms. Even as more health information becomes available, many patients may not be able to use it to guide their health care decisions.
To understand how these obstacles might be overcome, we examined some of the more innovative initiatives in health information engagement. Clarifying how these initiatives mobilize patients to play a more active role in their health, which features are most helpful for patients, and which features remain problematic may deepen the understanding of these tools and inform the design of future platforms.”
More on A Taxonomy to Engage Patients: Objectives, Design, and Patient Activation: How Health Information And Digital Technology Are Reshaping Patient Engagement by Fagotto, Burgués, & Fung via NEJM Catalyst.