Wielding the Web for Health and Disease Management

Monday, November 17th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Just as President-elect Obama tapped the Internet to raise campaign funds and get out the vote, healthcare is wielding the Web for disease management, health and wellness coaching and information management. Last week we learned that Google Flu Trends, a new Web tool from Google.org, may be able to alert us to regional flu outbreaks a week to 10 days before the CDC. Also last week, during HIN’s Health and Wellness Coaching in 2009 conference, OptumHealth and Gordian Health Solutions looked ahead to Health Coaching 3.0 — a relationship-driven multi-platform world that delivers health behavior change strategies via PDAs, telephones and home monitoring services. Read more of their comments in the HIN blog.

What’s behind this trend? Maybe the discovery by an iCrossing survey that in 2007, the Internet became consumers’ premier source for healthcare information for the first time — outranking physicians, family, friends and co-workers and other sources. The survey results were shared by OptumHealth’s Jennifer Hidding.

Kind of gives new meaning to the term “consumer-driven,” doesn’t it? It’s a direction echoed in this week’s stories, where you’ll discover the industry leader in the adoption of EHRs and other health IT as well as the four PHR vendors available to Medicare beneficiaries for the management of their health information in 2009.

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