Online health refers to health care or health services at a distance using World Wide Web and other electronic networks. E-health can be interchangeably used with online health. Communication through computers from and to any corner of the world has become much easier with the invention of internet in 1972. Three tools have paved way for the commencement of online communities: List serve that allows millions of web users in interact with an email thread, online representation of community bulletin boards and USENET. With the help of these tools, online communities began to blend with health related topics.
Due to changes in health care system and encroachment, need for online health services increased rapidly. Development of technology has resulted in dependence on internet even for health education and health care. In America, ninety percent of the citizens rely on online information for health tips for themselves and the others due to which health searches have become one of the most famous uses of internet. Existing health websites are introducing interactive communities such as online forums to increase the number of visitors.
Due to stress and emotional burden, patients and their families may not be enriched with health education. This demands careful evaluation and design for usability of online health services. Since disease and illness are boundless, participants may vary extensively in their literacy, need for education and support. Therefore, health related information should be authentic and comprehensible.
When it comes to judgment of online medical services, people do not use the best method to analyze the information. The consequence of unauthentic information depends on how it is used and what it is. Medical information can have deadly consequences when information is poor or when it is applied erroneously or when professional advice is not sought.
In spite of limited research on health benefits, popularity and its noteworthy impact on lives of the patients have enabled the health communities to aid patients through internet. The benefits are as follows:
‘The quality of life has been improved with development of online health services.
‘Patients with impaired mobility appreciate such services.
‘Also, patients with uncomfortable medical conditions who cannot receive face to face support can make use of online services.
‘Accessible and user friendly health communities can be found online.
‘Interaction with the participants is active.
‘Health professionals also realize the importance of medical information and provide authentic information online.
A venture of HealthOn Infosoft Pvt Ltd, Bolohealth renders online health services and offers creditable information on health care and wellness. It also helps you make decisions and take the appropriate health treatments after diagnosis. Community discussions, health tools and support are available in this medical website.
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