Health e-Technologies: Building the Science of eHealth

An RWJF Initiative

Field of Work: Research on the role of technological "e-health" applications in improving health behaviors and chronic disease management and in enhancing patient-provider interactions.

Problem Synopsis: Although numerous health web sites were available by 2001, knowledge about the quality and effects of these applications on patients' ability to change their health behaviors or manage their diseases was limited. The technologies had not been systematically or rigorously evaluated and little was known about their capabilities (such as personalized and tailored communications) to deliver effective care and foster productive patient-provider interactions.

Synopsis of the Work: Health e-Technologies: Building the Science of eHealth (October 2001 through December 2010) supported research to evaluate the effectiveness of technological "e-health" applications in improving health behaviors and chronic disease management and in enhancing patient-provider interactions.

Key Results

  • According to staff at the national program, the evaluator and RWJF, the major accomplishment of Health e-Technologies was its contribution to the evidence base for the e-health field.

Key Project Results

  • The following are two examples of results obtained by funded projects:

    • Therapists who scored patients with a history of stroke face-to-face and therapists who scored the same patients on video were in exact or close agreement on most measures of physical functioning and speech-language.
    • Participants in a six-week Internet-based diabetes self-management workshop had small but statistically significant improvements in their blood glucose levels.

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