Consumer Use of Computerized Applications to Address Health and Health Care Needs. Challenges that must be met


There are several prerequisites for consumer use of health information technology.

  • Consumers need the resources to access computerized applications, including the relevant technology and the skills to use it.
  • Consumers need to be aware of the applications.
  • Economic and technical problems must be addressed to encourage the use of these applications.
  • Applications must guarantee privacy and be of high quality so they will be appealing to consumers and health care providers.

These items are, of course, related. Consumer demand might drive the creation of more high-quality e-health tools. At the same time, the presence of more high-caliber resources might increase the likelihood that physicians promote their use and make consumers more aware of them.

Also, it is important to keep in mind that one of the main reasons people say they do not use consumer health resources is that they are not experiencing health problems and do not perceive a need.[219] In these instances, low take-up may not necessarily indicate a problem. (On the other hand, some experts point out that growing interest for wellness products may make health IT resonate even among those in good health.)

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