Patients Are Not Simply Health IT Users or Consumers: The Case for "e Healthicant" Applications

Susan A Sherer
2014 Communications of the Association for Information Systems  
Health IT applications today generally incorporate patients as passive users or consumers of information rather than active individuals w ho, in concert w ith their providers, are motivated and jointly responsible for their ow n good health. This article uses the healthcare value chain concept [Porter and Teisberg, 2006 ] as a framew ork to identif y gaps in patient-centered e-health applications. While patient diversity poses challenges similar to consumer diversity for application design,
more » ... ication design, consumer-centric design is limiting for patient-centered e-health because patients should not simply consume health care; they need to interact at multiple stages, alter their behaviors, and actively participate. This article raises critical research questions specific to this challenge. It defines a new term, "healthicant," to motivate a research focus on technology-enabled applications that support individuals responsible for their ow n health and w ell-being, and w ho seek appropriate assistance as needed to prevent, diagnose, prepare, intervene, rehabilitate, monitor, and manage their health throughout their lifetime. The article contrasts the objectives of healthicants w ith both healthcare providers (for w hom most health IT has been created) and more passive patients (for w hom current "patient-centered" applications are evolving), in order to identify important gaps today. These include systems that support healthicant motivation, measurement, analysis, data mining, real-time personalized feedback, and multidirectional communication.
doi:10.17705/1cais.03417 fatcat:kc4kwn3jrffufoa3ccp6loy5bu