Wired for Health and Well-Being: The Emergence of Interactive Health Communication
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.
As we close out the century, the promise of good health for
all Americans seems both tantalizingly close and frustratingly far away. We have made
great strides in preventing disease and extending life. However, the science base, which
makes progress possible, has not been effectively shared among all who need to understand
and act on it. We can do a better job of translating this knowledge into useful
communication for all people, and extending it to underserved populations who often carry
the heaviest health burdens. New and emerging communication tools may help bring
life-enhancing knowledge to people in ways they can use, when and where they need it.
To date, there has been little evaluation or quality control of interactive health communication because applications have been developed faster than theory and assessment tools. The Science Panel on Interactive Communication and Health has carefully considered the issues involved and defined the problems and opportunities. Their path-breaking work presents a broad strategy and specific guidance for promoting sound, appropriate assessment of this emerging field. This report will be valuable for all those who are interested in ensuring the quality and effectiveness of these exciting, but often misrepresented, health communication innovations. Each stakeholder, including policymakers, health care providers and purchasers, public health professionals, application developers, and consumers and patients, has a special role to play. Together, we can ensure that information and communication technologies fulfill their promise and contribute to better health and well-being for all people.
David Satcher, MD, PhD
Assistant Secretary for Health and
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Comments: SciPICH@nhic.org Updated: 05/01/08