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Technology and Health Education

Sam is a health educator who works with international populations to increase awareness for safe sexual practices among adolescent age groups in two foreign countries. Sam is not able to travel to these respective sites and instead, will rely upon technology to deliver the health education program. Both populations are served by health education centers that have facilities available for teleconferencing as well as videoconferencing to allow Sam to engage with the target audience. Furthermore, at each respective site, there is a health education coordinator who is responsible for maintaining group webpages for sources of information. Sam can upload relevant program materials to these webpages and the audiences can access the materials for participation.

Sam is aware that most program participants do not have viable technology equipment at home and are fully dependent on the health education center for access to program materials. In an effort to serve individual participants more personally and specifically, Sam would like to institute a revised strategy. In her proposal, the health education coordinator would visit the homes of the member participants to conduct short interviews with their parents. In fulfilling this element of the program, Sam is considering using a tablet with an integrated camera. The health education coordinator will then enable video chat features to conduct the interviews with participants in their home.

What considerations should Sam keep in mind when utilizing various forms of technology tools for the practice of health education?

For this Discussion, consider the types of technology tools that you are familiar with and that you might be able to incorporate into a health education program. For example, if you use a smart phone/mobile phone, consider how sending health education content via text messages may be an effective way to reach a certain population. Consider social networking sites that you might use in the delivery of health education. Reflect on how these types of technology tools may hinder health education delivery if working with an underserved population.

Post a description of an important technology tool that can be incorporated into the delivery of health education and explain why. Provide an example of how this form of technology can be utilized in various health education settings.

References

Carroll, J. K., Moorhead, A., Bond, R., Leblanc, W. G., Petrella, R. J., & Fiscella, K. (2017). Who Uses Mobile Phone Health Apps and Does Use Matter? A Secondary Data Analytics Approach. Journal of Medical Internet Research,19(4). doi:10.2196/jmir.5604

Chou, W. S., Prestin, A., Lyons, C., & Wen, K. (2013). Web 2.0 for Health Promotion: Reviewing the Current Evidence. American Journal of Public Health,103(1). doi:10.2105/ajph.2012.301071 

HealthyPeople.gov. (2013). Health communication and health information technology. Retrieved from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview.aspx?topicid=18

Kratze, C., & Cox, C. (2012). Smartphone technology and apps: Rapidly changing health promotion. International Electronic Journal of Health Education; (15)9, p. 72-82. Copyright 2012 by Shape America. Reprinted by permission of Shape America via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Krebs, P., & Duncan, D. T. (2015). Health App Use Among US Mobile Phone Owners: A National Survey. JMIR mHealth and uHealth,3(4). doi:10.2196/mhealth.4924

Naraina, Jai. P., & Ofrin, R. (2012). Role of modern technology in public health: Opportunities and challenges. WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health (2012): 125. Retrieved from http://www.searo.who.int/publications/journals/seajph/media/2012/seajph_v1n2/whoseajphv1i2p125.pdf

Tucker, C. (2011). Public health-related apps growing in number, popularity. The Nation’s Health, 41(8), 1–15.

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