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Growing numbers of consumers are actively using various social Internet technologies for health-related purposes – to facilitate taking care of their own health, accessing health services and getting involved in health research, for example. These consumers are influencing new approaches to health professional practice and health service design. Taken together these are signs of a paradigm shift to a more participatory model of digital health, a model whose benefits and risks are not yet entirely clear.
Topics include health online social networks and social media, shareable person-generated health data from mobile apps and wearable sensors, virtual clinical services and patient avatars, crowd sourcing public health and health innovation, and other aspects of participatory health informatics. The focus is on understanding the tools, the rules and the evidence available to inform good practice. Learning and teaching methods include online interactions, on-campus lectures and guest speakers, case studies and tutorial discussions, and a project with a partner health organisation.
Intended learning outcomes
- Analyse the roles and responsibilities of patients, clinicians and service administrators in a range of participatory health environments
- Evaluate the potential and actual experiences available to consumers in a range of participatory health environments
- Apply research evidence about effectiveness of various approaches, to plan the development or improvement of a participatory health environment
- Self-directed learning within a shared group timetable
- Information-sharing and discussion in online and classroom settings
- Information-gathering, evidence synthesis, and presentation of a project report
Last updated: 8 November 2019