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Health Communication

Strategies for Developing Global Health Programs

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Edited By Do Kyun Kim, Arvind Singhal and Gary L. Kreps

Promotion of healthy behaviors and prevention of disease are inextricably linked to cultural understandings of health and well-being. Health communication scholarship and practice can substantially and strategically contribute to people living safer, healthier, and happier lives. This book represents a concrete step in that direction by establishing a strategic framework for guiding global and local health practices.
Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, the volume includes state-of-the-art theories that can be applied to health communication interventions and practical guidelines about how to design, implement, and evaluate effective health communication interventions.
Few books have synthesized such a broad range of theories and strategies of health communication that are applicable globally, and also provided clear advice about how to apply such strategies. This volume combines academic research and field experience, guided by past and future research agendas and on-the-ground implementation opportunities.
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Chapter 3 A Primer for Using Mobile Apps and Social Media in Healthcare (Carolyn Lauckner & Pamela Whitten, Michigan State University)

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Carolyn Lauckner & Pamela Whitten, Michigan State University

Consider this scenario: a diabetic patient, after a visit with her doctor, logs on to a web portal to see how thousands of similar patients have reacted to the treatment her physician has just recommended. She can see their ratings of the treatment’s effectiveness and the severity of side effects experienced, along with personal tips for taking the medication. Armed with the knowledge of these many other patients, she contemplates the pros and cons of beginning the treatment. While on this website, she also logs into her personal profile and enters in her blood glucose levels for the past few days. To get this information, she opens the app on her phone that receives data on her blood sugar wirelessly via Bluetooth from her glucometer. With these two technologies, she can view how her health has changed over time and look for patterns in her glucose levels to aid in better self-management of her condition.

Such a scenario would have been impossible in the recent past. One patient could not easily access the opinions of thousands of similar others, and keeping track of glucose levels required manual recording and charting. New technologies, including social media sites and smartphones, have evolved rapidly and are becoming increasingly useful for patients, as well as healthcare providers, health educators, and individuals wanting to make healthy changes. The wide proliferation of these technologies and their integration into daily routines is helping to increase...

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