1997 Partnerships for Networked Consumer Health Information Conference
Summaries of Plenary Sessions and Breakout Sessions
Does It Work? #1: The Science Panel on Interactive Communication and Health (SciPICH)
Date: Wednesday, April 16, 1997
Co-Moderator: David H. Gustafson, PhD, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Preventive Medicine, University of Wisconsin (SciPICH Co-Chair)
Co-Moderator: Molly Joel Coye, MD, MPH, Executive Vice President for Strategic Development, HealthDesk Corporation (SciPICH Co-Chair)
Speakers: (SciPICH panel members):
Linda Adler, MPH, MA, Interactive Media Technology Group, Kaiser Permanente
Farrokh Alemi, PhD, Associate Professor of Health Administration, Cleveland State University
Patricia F. Brennan, RN, PhD, FAAN, Moehlman Bascom Professor, School of Nursing and College of Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Joe Henderson, MD, Director, Interactive Media Laboratory, Dartmouth Medical School
Holly Jimison, PhD, Director, Informed Patient Decisions Group, Oregon Health Sciences University
Al Mulley, MD, MPP, Chief, General Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
John Noell, PhD, Vice President, Oregon Center for Applied Science, Inc.
Kevin Patrick, MD, Editor, American Journal of Preventive Medicine and Director, Student Health Services, San Diego State University
Thomas C. Reeves, PhD, Professor of Instructional Technology, University of Georgia
Tom Robinson, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention
Victor Strecher, PhD, MPH, Professor and Associate Director, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Statement Of The Subject
Interactive communication technologies (ICT) can support consumer health programs for individual and community-based health promotion, self-care, shared decision making, patient education, and health system consumerism. These applications may be delivered through desktop software programs, CD-ROMs, interactive videodisk, interactive TV, and, increasingly, over the Internet. Because they deliver information tailored to the individual, they are potentially more effective than traditional methods for promoting health behavior change and informed decision making about health care, plans, and providers. The rapid evolution and commercialization of these technologies make their evaluation a priority in order to maximize their effectiveness and steer development in the most promising directions. Lack of appropriate or sufficient evaluation may lead to unwise investment in less-than-optimally effective technologies and may discourage focused and useful innovation. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has organized a formal effort -- The Science Panel on Interactive Communication and Healthto frame the evaluation of these emerging technologies and provide guidance to evaluators, consumers, and other health decision makers.
Key Issues, Including The Role Of Technology
The benefits of ICTs for different purposes and populations are not clear from preliminary research and may vary depending on the nature of both the technology and the particular health topic being addressed. While post-hoc evaluation of existing technologies and applications may help build the necessary knowledge base, consistent and systematic formative research is needed to guide development efforts. An evaluation strategy must therefore focus on issues such as development and design, as well as effects on health care quality and, in the longer term, on health status.
Roles, Responsibilities, and Priorities of Key Sectors
Government: As a major provider of health services, market regulator, and potential purchaser of interactive CHI programs, its role is to promote the rapid development of high quality products and the acceptance and application of ICT evaluation principles.
Developers: Have a responsibility to provide products that actually do what they claim. Their role is to develop ICTs according to principles likely to produce high quality products (including careful assessment and response to customer needs), and to understand and incorporate appropriate evaluation principles in development of products.
Providers: Have a responsibility to acquire and effectively use products and services that reduce the total burden of illness. Their role is to understand and incorporate appropriate evaluation principles into their buying decisions; support use by consumers of properly evaluated ICTs; and review the content of ICTs.
Consumers: will ultimately determine the market success of ICTs. Their responsibility is to ask for and demand adequately evaluated products.
A rationale and principles for evaluation will be developed for each of the key sectors, based on the roles, responsibilities, priorities, and circumstances under which sectors conduct or consume evaluations. From these principles, tools must be developed to simplify and standardize evaluation processes at the various stages of development, purchase, and consumption of ICTs. Such tools will ensure the feasibility and comparability of evaluation. The SciPICH will establish a framework for evaluation for each of the sectors. Overall, this will be an ongoing process that should grow out of collaboration between designers, researchers, and potential funders/policy makers interested in the application of ICTs to the provision of quality health information. This process will be facilitated through a web site devoted to evaluation issues. The web site will provide a discussion forum and will link interested parties to a wide variety of resources for evaluating ICTs.
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Last updated on June 26, 2003
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