E-health resources can deliver demonstrable benefits for quality of care, for example through provision of public health information and access to online communities and self-help groups for those experiencing ill-health. Digitally excluded groups of health consumers such as older people and those with disabilities have much to gain from the social connectedness and social support offered through these digitally facilitated resources – yet at the same time are most vulnerable to continued exclusion due to inappropriate technology design and implementation. In this chapter, we describe in detail the opportunities e-health can offer in the context of digital inclusion by reducing social exclusion and enhancing quality of life through thoughtful technology intervention. We highlight the problems that may emerge or persist if the design of e-health systems does not fully take into account the challenges of user access and adoption. We show how principles of user-centred and inclusive design can be used as a basis on which successful e-health systems can be developed and implemented and offer suggestions for how these principles can best influence design of future systems.
|Title of host publication||E-Health Communities and Online Self-Help Groups|
|Subtitle of host publication||Applications and Usage|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|
- social networks
- digital inclusion