Online Health Communities Improve Chronic Care Quality

Ashley Gold | FierceHealthIT | June 27, 2013

Online health communities can be powerful tools for addressing chronic care issues as the number of people afflicted with such ailments rises, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

For the study, researchers define online health communities (OHCs) as Internet-based platforms that unite a group of patients, a group of professionals, or both, using blogs, chats, forums and wikis. In this case, the researchers--from Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands--illustrated using OHCs for ParkinsonNet, a professional network made for participants with Parkinson's disease in which providers deliver patient-centered care.