Healthcare is complicated. With so many things in society already bogging us down, it often hard to be in control of our healthcare. As a result, we might find it very difficult to make informed healthcare decisions as we lack access to the necessary information. However, with the advent of things like Consumer Healthcare Informatics, this process can become more painless.
But what exactly is Consumer Healthcare Informatics?
Consumer health informatics looks at patient data from a variety of perspectives, including the patient’s understanding of healthcare, consumer understanding, and even education. The objective is to empower patients by providing them with the information they need to make informed health decisions. By combining the customers’ information demands with their healthcare choices, Consumer Health Informatics can offer a personalized medical experience for the patient.
According to Gunther Eysenbach who specialized in eHealth and Consumer Healthcare Informatics, it is officially defined as the branch of medical informatics that analyses consumers’ needs for information; studies and implements methods of making information accessible to consumers; and models and integrates consumers’ preferences into medical information systems.
How is Consumer Heath Informatics being used?
Consumer Health Informatics are being used to help in the categorization of patient medical histories, lab research and medication. The applications that patients and healthcare providers use to do this will typically feature the usage of Consumer Health Informatics. These apps then help people do things like help people understand things like disease management and promote lifestyle management assistance.
One specific example of such an application would be the web portals and health records you use to access your medical information. Within these apps, your health information will be standardized and categorized. The user can then easily extract this information for his or her usage. The information in these apps would typically include their allergies, immunizations, blood type and medical history, all of which is very important when making an important healthcare decision.
One other real-life example of Consumer Health Informatics being used is Peer Interactions Systems. Applications that use Peer Interactions systems connect patients with similar health backgrounds in online forums and discussions so they may share their own experiences and advice with one another.
Why is Consumer Health Informatics so important?
Consumer Health Informatics and other advance like Health IT applications have already become an integral part of many healthcare systems around the world. While many of us have already begun to take these applications which utilize Consumer Health Informatics, without it many of the healthcare applications that we use today would not work effectively. This in turn would make it incredibly inconvenient for us when we make decisions involving our healthcare. These applications are also extremely important during healthcare emergencies where there is no room for error or wasting of time.