Online health communities provide a means for patients and their families to learn about an illness, seek and offer support, and connect with others in similar circumstances. They are supported by a variety of technologies (e.g., email lists, forums, chat rooms) and are hosted by patients, advocacy groups, medical organizations, and corporations. They raise difficult design challenges because of the wide variability of members' medical expertise, the severity of problems due to misinformation, and the need for emotional support. The importance of on-line health communities is evidenced by their popularity, as well as the significant impact they have on the lives of their members. This Special Interest Group (SIG) will explore current trends in online health communities, as well as discuss the socio-technical design challenges and opportunities that they afford.
Online health communities
CHI EA '06 CHI '06 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Conference on Human Computer Interaction 2006 (CHI 2006)