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The Medium Is the (Health) Measure: Patient Engagement Using Personal Technologies

Wasson, John H. MD; Forsberg, Helena Hvitfeldt MSc; Lindblad, Staffan MD, PhD; Mazowita, Garey MD; McQuillen, Kelly MHSc, RD, CDE; Nelson, Eugene C. DSc

Journal of Ambulatory Care Management: April/June 2012 - Volume 35 - Issue 2 - p 109–117
doi: 10.1097/JAC.0b013e31824a235e
Original Articles

With the phrase “the medium is the message”, Marshall McLuhan argued that technologies are the messages themselves and not just the medium. Almost 50 years later, we understand that modern information and communication technologies expand our ability to perceive our world to an extent that would be impossible without the medium. In this article, we contend that information and communication technologies are becoming the dominant medium for patient engagement. Information and communication technologies will efficiently change patient-reported measurement into much more behaviorally sophisticated information that will create a very different interaction between patients and a new kind of health care workforce.

The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (Drs Wasson and Nelson), Lebanon, New Hampshire; Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden (Ms Forsberg and Dr Lindbland); and Ministry of Health Services, British Columbia, Canada (Dr Mazowita and Ms McQuillen).

Correspondence: John H. Wasson, MD, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, NH 03766 (John.H.Wasson@Dartmouth.edu).

British Columbia contributors to the manuscript preparation include Connie Davis, MN, Avril Ullett, BA, Mary Severson, BSN, Tejinder Sidhu, MD, Rosanna Lima, MD, and Richard Welsh, MD.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.