Tag Archives: Online

Online health information: risky business or consumer wonderland?

New media has opened the information doors for healthcare. A new concept of using search engines to Organize, track, monitor and secure medical information online has been introduced. Google has recently added a feature called Google Health to their internet based service. It enables consumers to store health information online, with features such as setting personal goals, tracking progress and personalizing your health needs with applications and devices.

This idea of a “self managing citizen” discussed by Lewis (2006, 523) explores how new media has significantly shifted the healthcare industry providing many opportunities but also challenges.  The internet offer’s targeted health information which is able to target consumers as an individualized DIY subject (Lewis 2006, 522). However with consumers having access to vast amounts of online health information can lead to mixed messages regarding health advice and wrong diagnosis. As Lewis (2006, 523) discusses the possibility of an epidemic of misinformation.

The question is who is responsible when something goes wrong? It is clear there has been a shift from public responsibility to now the individual (Leong 2011). As we incorporate medicine 2.0 (Leong 2011) into our digital worlds it is important to consider what Faith Lee states consumers are now the gatekeepers of their own personal health information.

Lee, Faith. 2011. “DIY health. Are we becoming our own doctors?” Faithchantal’s Blog. Accessed April 4, 2011. http://faithchantal.wordpress.com 

Leong, Susan. 2011. “KCB: 206 New media: week 6 lecture notes.” Accessed April 4, 2011. http://blackboard.qut.edu.au/

Lewis, Tania. 2006. “Seeking health information on the internet: lifestyle choice or bad attack of cyberchondria?” Media, Culture and Society 28 (4): 521-539.

Shemissedhowhewouldkissher. 2011. “Just Breathe.” Image.  Accessed April 10, 2011. http://shemissedhowhewouldkissher.tumblr.com/post/4033352031

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Filed under digital age, Google, Health, lifestyle, media lifestyle, Medicine 2.0, Online identity, Uncategorized