Internet Technology and Health Care Consumerism

Gul Seckin
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This presentation will provide a discussion on the sociological implications of the sweeping use of information and communication technologies in relation to health care and physician-patient interaction. The structure of the current American health care system and relational and communicational barriers faced by health care consumers necessitate patients to leave their dependent patient roles and instead assume more participatory role for themselves. This participatory patient role is especially facilitated by available interactive communication technologies. Today, increasing number of health care consumers including middle aged and older adults have been using the Internet technology and join the illness specific online support groups in order to obtain support, advice, and medical information from sources in addition to the health care professionals. This presentation conceptualizes the use of information and communication technology as contributing to proactive patient roles. Patients can thus combine professional and lay resources to achieve greater responsiveness from formal health care providers through a participatory patient role during medical interactions.

Keywords: Health Care, Internet, Online Support, Elderly
Stream: Technology in Community
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Internet Technology and Health Care Consumerism

Gul Seckin

Case Western Reserve University

Ref: T05P0137