START Conference Manager    

ASIST 2012 Annual Meeting 
Baltimore, MD, October 26-30, 2012

 
Information, Interaction and Innovation in Consumer Health: New Directions at the Intersection of Information Science and Informatics
Tiffany Veinot, Maria Souden, Yunan Chen, Ellen Rubenstein, Chuck Friedman, Catherine Arnott Smith, Barbara Wildemuth and Lynne Howarth

Monday, 1:30pm


Summary

Longstanding approaches to health and health care are failing us: costs have skyrocketed while care quality remains highly uneven; the majority of health care in North America takes place in homes and communities rather than hospitals and doctor's offices; and institutionalized health care often does little to support people psychosocially or prevent people from becoming ill in the first place. Enthusiasm for the potential of consumer participation in health and health care has found advocates among health systems and insurers keen to reduce costs and patient organizations agitating for improved recognition and care. Alongside these trends, we find an increased focus on consumer health in the disciplines of information science and informatics. Health information science studies examine information behavior, information policy, terminology and information retrieval systems. Health informaticians focus on the design and evaluation of consumer-facing technologies such as personal health records and health behavior tracking systems. Scholars in both fields pursue research concerning social media, including online patient communities. However, despite the growing momentum of scholarly activity in both fields, as well as their topical overlap, the fields remain largely separate, with differing research traditions and scholarly communities. In this panel, we find synergy and common ground between the two fields through an exploration of the conference themes of information, interaction and innovation. In a lightning talk format, eight panelists representing diverse research areas will share their perspectives upon key insights that each field can bring to the other. Building on the arguments presented, panelists and the audience will reflect on the state of consumer health research, and brainstorm regarding future scholarly directions that will leverage the strengths of both fields.