NNLM Reading Club: Digital Health Literacy

NNLM Reading Club: Digital Health Literacy


Digital Health Literacy
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Digital Health Literacy

Much of our healthcare today runs on digital devices. Think telehealth or telemedicine; electronic health record (EHR) or electronic medical record (EMR); mobile health apps (mHealth); emailing your doctor and more. While this connectivity is helpful, healthcare consumers or patients need to have digital health literacy to effectively partner in their health care. There are still gaps for inequitable access, and sometimes the reality of our digital health tools falls a bit short of their initial promise.

The World Health Organization(link is external) defines digital health literacy as the ability to seek, find, understand, and appraise health information from electronic sources and apply the knowledge gained to addressing or solving a health problem.

However, the Pew Research Center(link is external) reports that the internet is the de facto choice for more than a third of U.S. adults searching for medical information. And did you know that a Google search for "cancer" will produce over 800 million results? That is an overwhelming amount of information! No wonder millions of Americans struggle to find and use online health information.


Guides

  • The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) Health Literacy Online(link is external) is a research-based guide for simplifying the User Experience when it comes to creating intuitive health websites.
  • The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has a best-practice website, usability.gov(link is external), to learn how to create a user-centered product.

Precision Medicine

If there is one overarching trend to all the advances in medical technology, it is the personalization of medicine and treating individuals as such. Source: The Ten Hottest Medical Technologies in 2019

 

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Technology Is Changing Medicine.... and Library Service

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced libraries temporarily to close, the virus also created an opportunity for libraries to demonstrate their increasingly important role as partners for healthy communities.

Libraries can play a crucial role in helping their patrons access quality online health information by:

  • Providing access to computers and high-speed internet
  • Helping users develop the digital literacy skills needed to use the computer (e.g., how to use a mouse)
  • Helping users develop the necessary skills to evaluate online health information resources

Instruction

Laptop screen displaying the words Health Literacy

From accessing your personal Electronic Health Record (EHR) to using TeleHealth for a routine medical visit, digital health literacy is increasingly integrated into our everyday lives. Visit NNLM All of Us Digital Health Literacy and NNLM All of Us Learn Internet Skills to discover resources, including digital health literacy training curricula and courses, to help individuals in your community become more skilled and knowledgeable technology users.

Infographics

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Internet

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that more than 21 million Americans lack broadband access(link is external), and Pew Research reports that 77 percent of Americans without Internet access depend on libraries(link is external). So it was fortunate that when libraries closed due to the pandemic, they did not stop providing this essential service. Libraries extended remote access coverage outside the building. While sitting in a parked vehicle or on a park bench, communities continued to access free WiFi to complete homework or upload job applications.

Woman holding a Fitbit box

Wearable Devices

If you thought libraries only loaned books and DVDs, think again. Library of Things often includes health technology such as Fitbits. Learn how libraries are incorporating wearable devices into their health outreach programs: Summit Fitbit Cohorts(link is external)Capital Area District Libraries(link is external), and Huron Public Library(link is external).

"From Fitbits to Apple Watches, patients are generating a significant amount of data on wearables, and the use of wearables is anticipated to increase nearly 25 percent by 2026..." Source: Medical Technologies in 2020: The Top Innovations for Clinicians. By Debra Wood, RN, contributor. StaffCare. Dec 19, 2019(link is external)

 

3D Printing

CreativeMaker Spaces in public libraries were enlisted for the emergency manufacture of face shields that were in short supply during the COVID-19 outbreak. Using 3D to Make PPE: Library resources help create much-needed face shields by Cass Balzer. American Libraries. April 3, 2020(link is external). The Columbia University Libraries even created an online resource, ​Guide and Design for Rapidly Produced Face Shields(link is external).

Deep Medicine
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NNLM Reading Club Book Kit

Do you want to share this book with your reading club? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.


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Join Us for a Discussion of Deep Medicine

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Discussion

Discussion Guide for Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again
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Book

Book cover image of Deep Medicine

Medicine has become inhuman, to disastrous effect. The doctor-patient relationship–the heart of medicine–is broken: doctors are too distracted and overwhelmed to truly connect with their patients, and medical errors and misdiagnoses abound. In Deep Medicine, leading physician Eric Topol reveals how artificial intelligence can help. AI has the potential to transform everything doctors do, from notetaking and medical scans to diagnosis and treatment, greatly cutting down the cost of medicine and reducing human mortality. By freeing physicians from the tasks that interfere with human connection, AI will create space for the real healing that takes place between a doctor who can listen and a patient who needs to be heard.audiobook vector imageebook vector image

Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again | Eric Topol | Basic Books | 2019 | 400 pages | ISBN: 978-1541644649


Author

Headshot of Eric Topol

Eric Topol, MD, is a leading cardiologist who has embraced the study of genomics and the latest advances in technology to treat chronic disease. Professionally, he is the Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute(link is external) in La Jolla, California, Chief Academic Officer for Scripps Health, a Professor of Genomics at The Scripps Research Institute(link is external), and a Senior Consultant at the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at Scripps Clinic. He also is editor-in-chief of Medscape(link is external) and theheart.org, and the author of several bestselling books on digital health care. Biography(link is external)

Article

Reading icon imageTelemedicine is Essential Amid the COVID-19 Crisis and After It, by Eric Topol, MD, Guest Contributor. The Economist, March 31, 2020

Interview

The Digital Doctor
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NNLM Reading Club Book Kit

Do you want to share this book with your reading club? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.


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Discussion

Discussion Guide for The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of the of Medicine's Computer Age
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Book

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Written with a rare combination of compelling stories and hard-hitting analysis by one of the nation’s most thoughtful physicians, The Digital Doctor examines healthcare at the dawn of its computer age. It tackles the hard questions, from how technology is changing care at the bedside to whether government intervention has been useful or destructive. And it does so with clarity, insight, humor, and compassion.audiobook vector imageebook vector image

New York Times Science Bestseller

The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age | Robert Wachter, MD | McGraw Hill Education | 2017 reprint | 352 pages | ISBN: 978-1260019605


Author

Robert Wachter, MD, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He coined the term "hospitalist" and is considered the father of the hospitalist field, the fastest-growing medical specialty in modern times. He is past president of the Society of Hospital Medicine and past chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine. In 2015, Modern Healthcare magazine named him the most influential physician-executive in the U.S.

View Robert Wachter, MD UCSF Profile(link is external)

TEDMED Talk

The Future of Healthcare
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NNLM Reading Club Book Kit

Do you want to share this book with your reading club? The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has made it easy to download the discussion questions, promotional materials, and supporting health information.


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Join Us for a Discussion of the Future of Healthcare

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Discussion

Discussion Guide for The Future of Health Care: Humans and Machines Partnering for Better Outcomes
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Book

The Future of Healthcare book cover image

We live in a world where data can help us make more informed decisions about how to navigate traffic, who to date, what to buy, who to network with, and how to better manage our finances. But when it comes to our personal health and wellness, we have no roadmap. We need something to show us where we are in terms of our health, with landmarks for risks and opportunities. A GPS that makes it easier to move toward our personal health goals. A new way to look at health and life. The future of healthcare is coming. This is what it looks like.

The Future of Health Care: Humans and Machines Partnering for Better Outcomes | Emmanuel Fombu, MD, MBA | Athena Publishing | 2018 reprint | 296 pages | ISBN: 978-0692122969


Author

Headshot photo of Emmanuel Fombu

Emmanuel Fombu, MD, MBA, is a physician, author, speaker, and healthcare executive turned Silicon Valley entrepreneur. The 2017 winner of the prestigious New York City Health Business Leaders Boldest Digital Health Influencer Award, Dr. Fombu holds an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson School of Business and certification on artificial intelligence from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. He serves as an external advisory board member on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT.nano project and lives in New York City.​

Official Website of Emmanuel Fombu, MD, MBA(link is external)

Interview