Evaluation of IHC
Consumers & IHC
Policy Issues Relevant
Providers, Purchasers & IHC
Wired for Health and Well-Being: The
Emergence of Interactive Health Communication
Editors: Thomas R. Eng, David H. Gustafson
Suggested Citation: Science Panel on Interactive
Communication and Health. Wired for Health and Well-Being: the Emergence of Interactive
Health Communication. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human
Services, US Government Printing Office, April 1999.
Download in PDF format: [Entire Document] [References]
This is the report of the Science Panel on Interactive
Communication and Health (the Panel) on the emerging field of interactive health
communication (IHC). It is intended primarily for developers and users of applications,
researchers, clinicians, public health professionals, and policymakers from both the
public and private sectors. This report provides information and analyses about this field
so that IHC stakeholders may be better able to make critical decisions about IHCits
development, use, purchase, evaluation, and policy environment.
The Panel aimed for a report that is educational but not overly technical, provocative but
not overly speculative, and grounded in science but cognizant of "real-world"
considerations. Because of the growing breadth and depth of IHC, the Panel was unable to
address all the issues related to IHC within the confines of this document. Therefore,
this report should not be considered a comprehensive review of the published literature in
this field, and readers are encouraged to seek additional sources of information, such as
the resources cited in this report. Because of the rapid advances in information and
communication technology and its evolving impact on health care and public health,
the Panel was challenged to produce a report that would not be quickly outdated. New
technologies for facilitating health communication will undoubtedly be utilized as they
become available. However, the Panel anticipates that the central theme of this
reportthe need to focus on an evidence-based approach to IHCwill be relevant
for many years to come regardless of the communication technologies and media employed.
In this report, the Panel concludes that, as with other complex health issues, a
multifaceted approach is necessary to ensure that the potential of IHC to improve health
is fully realized. The Panels recommendations pertain to many different stakeholders
who comprise "the field" of IHC. The Panel hopes that its analyses and
recommendations will help catalyze further discussions, initiatives, and partnerships
around IHC that lead to a healthy future for all.
David H. Gustafson (Chair)
Thomas R. Eng (Study Director)
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