Author Archive for Grady College CONNECT 08


A Perspective on eHealth

Mia Lustria talked about Research Perspectives in Consumer Health Informatics & Measurement Issues.

Consumer health informatics or eHealth: Help others make more informed health decisions

Using social media in healthcare – Examples of Consumer Health Informatics Applications:

Shift in emphasis in online searching from disease and treatment to wellness and prevention.  Eighty percent of Americans have searched online for health information.

Why use social media for health? 

  • Messages can be personalized
  • Reach a broad audience
  • Interactivity
  • Control the timing
  • Message can be tailored to narrowly-defined audiences

Example of tailoring to a specific audience online: Re-mission: Game and community for young people with cancer

Online Healthcare Challenges:

  • Access issues
  • Linking design and theory
  • Maximizing interactivity and tailoring capabilities
  • Finding ways to measure

Great presentation.  Hopefully we will be able to get her slide show and post them up later on this site. Thanks!


Social Media Measurement

Jim Fetig and Kathi Wallace from Georgia Tech   spoke on measuring user-generated media. 

Social media is fluid.  So, how do we measure it? Don’t measure output, you have to measure outcome. 

Case Study:

Audience: 42% of Americans say the Internet played a major role as they decided on a college.

Traditional journalism is rapidly changing: 70% of journalists read blogs for work and 70 million people watch YouTube videos every month.

Case study questions: What’s the norm for visibility? How does this compare to the traditional model?  Are the measurements the same?

Focusing research on:

  • Social bookmarking sites
  • Blogs
  • Facebook
  • Institution blogs
  • YouTube


One action they took was comparing media outcomes in traditional media space to social media outcomes.

  • General institution news (discussion of campus life, events and news of student groups) drove better visibility.
  • Actions and achievements of students were much more prevalent in social media than in traditional media.
  • Social media gave an equal opportunity for message communication just like traditional outlets did.  Social media was not as uncontrolled as they expected.

Another question they asked was is there engagement around Georgia Tech related topics in social media?  They measured this looking at:

  • Comments
  • Inbound links
  • Bookmarking sites
  • Forum thread length 

One thing they found was that low visibility does not mean low engagement.

Lots of questions on this subject.  Thanks Jim and Kathi for showing the Connect audience what your experience has been.


Thank you to those who donated.

The Connect Team would like to thank all the companies who donated products for the conference gift bags.
•    Bauble Bath: Taking your bath from ordinary to luxurious!
•    Cram by Simple leap: Test preparation on your mobile device.
•    Wysong: Trying to make a difference in the world by approaching health as if thinking matters.


Post-Conference Survey

Thank you for attending Connect!  We want your comments and suggestions! 

Please take a few moments and fill out our survey:

Enjoy the reception!


interview with kami huyse


Dr. Mia Lustria and consumer health informatics

Dr. Mia Lustria’s  presentation on “Research Perspectives in Consumer Health Informatics and Measurement Issues” reviewed:

What is consumer health informatics?

  • “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”
  • Example: The Wellness Community
  • Interdisciplinary field — draws from a variety of fields, and not just technology

Rationale for consumer health informatics

  • Shift in emphasis from disease and treatment to health and wellness
  • 80% of Americans have searched the Internet for health info

Characteristics of interactive technologies

  • Messages can be both widely disseminated yet personalized
  • Important attributes: multimodality and sensory vividness (example: ReMission — online game for young cancer patients); networkability and interactivity — building community and ability to get immediate feedback from experts; temporal flexibility — control the timing of your interactions; message tailoring capabilities — reach narrowly defined audiences and do so according to individual characteristics, which improves engagement
  • But interactive technologies were at times superior and sometimes no better than other media

Measurement issues

  • Not just reach but actually changing behavior
  • Access issues — tested with literate populations; maybe not reaching people who need the most help
  • Sometimes poorly designed, not linked with theory
  • Measuring program engagement and outcomes, including engagement with the content; relatively low rate of long-term engagement in many Web-based programs; figure out what works and what doesn’t
  • Using direct and unobtrusive methods (page visits, time on page, etc.), but those are not always easy; therefore oftentimes resort to online surveys, which rely on self-reported data. It’s difficult to assess behavioral and clinical outcomes.

Addition: Here are Dr. Lustria’s slides.


fun times at connect 08

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