Promoting Consumer Engagement in Health and Health Care

  • Margo Edmunds


The field of consumer health informatics evaluates the ways information and communications technologies enable people to make decisions about their health and health care. Digital health is an umbrella term for the industry that produces electronic technologies and tools—such as Web portals, mobile phones, sensors, and online social networks—that deliver services and help people manage their personal health and wellness. Together, consumer informatics and digital health are accelerating the transformation of the health care system from a transactional and disease-oriented biomedical model to a more integrated system that values teams, partnerships, and shared decision-making and supports people in achieving their personal health goals. This new pathway has been described as the democratization of health care, and it represents a convergence of several broader social and technological trends. Among these larger trends are the consumer movement; citizen science; evidence-based behavioral, cognitive, and social sciences; consumer electronics and wireless technology; health equity; human-centered design and usability; and health policy decisions about getting better value from health care spending. This chapter describes some of the key contributing influences and future implications of engaged consumers using digital technologies to improve their health and health care experiences. Perhaps the most compelling rationale for consumer health informatics is the opportunity to use digital technology to support the most personal aspects of well-being in the ways that matter the most to each of us.


Consumer engagement Consumer activation Consumer empowerment Consumer informatics Democratization of health care e-Health mHealth Self-care Self-management Remote monitoring Community health Telehealth Behavioral medicine Health behavior Health equity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margo Edmunds
    • 1
  1. 1.AcademyHealthWashington, DCUSA

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