Health Informatics, Communications, and Health Disparities
Now, more than ever before, informatics and communications play a significant role in not only how health data is collected, compiled, and presented, but also how the public perceives and combines this data to make their health decisions. Tremendous advances in media technologies in recent years have had both positive and negative impacts on the public’s health. The internet has opened the door for millions of people to access credible health information, such as vital and health statistics, to health alerts and warnings at any given moment. Yet, this same media venue has made it possible for people to purchase illicit drugs and become involved in other illegal and high-risk behaviors.
With such great advancements in communication technologies, it is imperative that health officials determine the significant impact that informatics and communications has upon the social determinants of public health; religion, education, culture/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.
After completing your Reading for this unit, answer the following question:
Where does public health data come from and how is this information compiled to measure the health of populations?
Then answer two of the following questions:
1. Describe at least one way in which religion may affect health and provide an example.
2. How can socio-economic status affect health? Give at least one example.
3. How can culture affect health? Give at least one example.
4. How can health informatics and communications be used to improve the health disparities that exist in the United States?