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We should look to automation to relieve the current pressures on healthcare

We should look to automation to relieve the current pressures on healthcare

In many sectors, automation is seen as a threat due to the potential for job losses. By contrast, automation is seen as an opportunity in healthcare, as a way to address pressures including staff shortages, increasing demand and workloads, reduced budget, skills shortages, and decreased consultation times. Automation may address these pressures in primary care, […]

Is internet gaming as addictive as gambling? (no, suggests a new study)

New research by Andrew Przybylski (OII, Oxford University), Netta Weinstein (Cardiff University), and Kou Murayama (Reading University) published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry suggests that very few of those who play internet-based video games have symptoms suggesting they may be addicted. The article also says that gaming, though popular, is unlikely to be […]

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Facts and figures or prayers and hugs: how people with different health conditions support each other online

Online support groups are being used increasingly by individuals who suffer from a wide range of medical conditions. OII DPhil Student Ulrike Deetjen‘s recent article with John Powell, Informational and emotional elements in online support groups: a Bayesian approach to large-scale content analysis uses machine learning to examine the role of online support groups in the healthcare process. They categorise 40,000 online posts […]

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How can big data be used to advance dementia research?

Dementia affects about 44 million individuals today, a number that is expected to triple by 2050. To date there is no cure or treatment. Ulrike Deetjen, Eric T. Meyer and Ralph Schroeder discuss the findings of an OECD-commissioned project to evaluate current best practices of data sharing in research on neurodegenerative diseases, for which they interviewed 37 experts from academia, government and other sectors. The final report was presented to the G7 health ministers at the First WHO Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in Geneva on 16-17 March 2015.

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Unpacking patient trust in the “who” and the “how” of Internet-based health records

Digital health records create new opportunities for access and sharing, and carry the promise of reducing costs and improving quality of care across health systems worldwide. At the same time, they also cause nightmares to patients concerned about their privacy – while patient trust is key to successful adoption and use. Ulrike Rauer, author of the Policy & Internet article Patient Trust in Internet-based Health Records: An Analysis across Operator Types and Levels of Patient Involvement in Germany, takes a closer look at the structural and institutional factors influencing patient trust in Internet-based health records.

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Can Twitter provide an early warning function for the next pandemic?

With factors such as air travel act as a catalyst in the spread of new and novel viruses, the need to improve global population monitoring and enhance surveillance of infectious diseases is more pressing than ever. Patty Kostkova (UCL) discusses how the real-time streams of user data generated on social networks like Twitter can be used for monitoring the health of large populations, providing a potential early warning function for pandemics, detecting flu spikes weeks before official surveillance systems. Watch Patty talk on this subject at the OII.

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Searching for a “Plan B”: young adults’ strategies for finding information about emergency contraception online

Eszter Hargittai of Northwestern University discusses her study, co-authored with Heather Young and published in the journal Policy and Internet, suggesting that despite the availability of quality health information on the Web, many young people are unable to find accurate information about important health matters online. Hargittai, E. and Young, H. (2012) Searching for a “Plan B”: Young Adults’ Strategies for Finding Information about Emergency Contraception Online. Policy and Internet 4 (2).

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eHealth: what is needed at the policy level? New special issue from Policy and Internet

Rik Crutzen of Maastricht University, Guest Editor (with Gordon Gao, of the University of Maryland) of Policy and Internet’s special issue on eHealth, discusses the policy insights of the papers published in the issue, which cover such issues as the effectiveness of national policies aimed at empowering users, patient trust in electronic health records, and user engagement with online health information.

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