NSU Launches America’s first Center to deliver Health Care Solutions through Social Media and Cell Phones

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The Center for Consumer Health Informatics Research will use these platforms to help the public make better informed decisions about their health care

Nova Southeastern University’s College of Pharmacy recently launched America’s first Center for Consumer Health Informatics Research to deliver health care solutions through social media and cell phones.

The center’s mission is to make new health discoveries using consumer health informatics (integration of patient preferences, behaviors, and technology) to improve health. It will use the participatory medicine model to gain insight about patient habits and other trends in health care. These discoveries can then be used to help the public make better informed personal health care decisions.

The center plans to deliver health and wellness information such as tips to manage diabetes through social media and mobile phones. It will also analyze whether health interventions delivered on those platforms can help patients better manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc.

“We are hoping to unlock a treasure trove of information about patient health,” said Kevin A. Clauson, Pharm.D, the center’s director and a College of Pharmacy associate professor. “Patients are turning to the Internet in record numbers to look for answers to health-related questions and making treatment decisions based on what they find. The center plans to use technologies to deliver information to help e-Patients make better decisions.”

Research efforts at the center are already underway with a trio of mobile/cell phone health projects known as mHealth. These include a study to measure the impact of text messaging and health literacy on medication adherence in patients with type 2 diabetes.

“Cell phone ownership is particularly high in Hispanics and African Americans, which offer tremendous opportunity to customize mobile phone health interventions for these historically underserved patient populations”, Clauson said.

The center will also serve as a training site for students, residents, and fellows, who will have the opportunity to be directly involved in cutting edge research and academic initiatives in consumer health informatics.