Thursday, November 01, 2007

Expanding the Reach and Impact of Consumer e-Health Tools

Expanding the Reach and Impact of Consumer e-Health Tools : "The economic pressures of ever-increasing healthcare costs and suboptimal health outcomes are driving the search for new approaches to health management. Policymakers and even the President now speak of the National Health Information Network and interoperable electronic health records as necessary elements of health care for the entire population. Based on multiple studies and reports on the need for patient-centered health care, public policy is attaching growing importance to the role of consumers in managing their own health, in partnership with healthcare providers. Consumer-oriented e-health resources are meant to help consumers manage the heavy demands of health management. Indeed, it may be difficult for consumers to meet some of the demands without e-health tools. “e-Health” is a broad term for the heterogeneous and evolving digital resources and practices that support health and health care. e-Health resources enable consumers, patients, and informal caregivers to gather information, make healthcare decisions, communicate with healthcare providers, manage chronic disease, and engage in other health-related activities. Most, although not all, of these resources are available through the Internet. e-Health tools offer consumers a broad range of integrated, interactive functions including those listed below. "

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