Public Lecture: Edith Cowan University 4th June 2015: Social media and e-health Information Communication Technologies (ICT): Communication Disabilities

Public Lecture, Edith Cowan University

Social media and e-health Information Communication Technologies (ICT): online participation by people with communication disabilities for social interaction, information exchange, and e-health purposes.

Associate Professor Bronwyn HemsleyThursday, 4 June 2015


ECU Joondalup Campus, Building 8, Room 8.201

Social medial and e-health information communication technologies

In this seminar, Bronwyn will present the findings of recent research and an overview of two important Information Communication Technologies online – ‘social media’/social networking; and eHealth records online. She will also provide an overview of barriers and facilitators that are common across these two types of ICT, and engage the audience in considering strategies and supports that might facilitate the inclusion and participation of people with communication disabilities in these communication technologies.

Part A: Social Media/Social Networking. The audience will learn about:

This research is funded by the Australian Research Council “TweetReach” project.

What are important characteristics of three popular social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) and how do each of these differ in terms of interaction?

How do people with disabilities currently access social media, and how might accessibility issues impact upon their inclusion in social media forums and online health communities or technologies?

What are some barriers to and facilitators for engagement in social media by people with communication disabilities?

What are the best ways to support people with communication disabilities to access and use online health communication technologies and social media?

What might be some important future interventions to improve inclusion online for people with communication disabilities?

Useful resources for learning to use social media

Part B: eHealth technologies online – the PCEHR [MyHealth Record]

This research is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

What is the Personally Controlled Electronic Record (PCEHR) and how is it used?

The Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) is an electronic record that contains a summary of health information from all participating healthcare providers. Its successful use relies on both the patient and the providers involved being engaged in updating, uploading, sharing, and reading information in the record. Pilot studies on use of the PCEHR by people with communication disabilities will be presented so as to highlight the several barriers to using PCEHR that currently exist for people with communication disabilities. A group discussion will be used to tease out the ethical, logistical, and financial issues involved in maintaining an online presence and supporting or coaching people with communication disabilities as they develop and expand skills in social media communication and the use of eHealth communication technologies. Recently, the Australian Government announced its intention to change the system from an ‘opt-in’ to an ‘opt-out’ process, and to change the name to ‘MyHealth record’. If this goes ahead, Australians will, unless they choose to opt out, have a personal e-health record online. The implications of this for health professionals and others working with people with disabilities and their families will be discussed.

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