Cancer Patients and Internet Use.

In this Journal article The author distinguishes four areas of Internet use: communication (electronic mail), community (virtual support groups), content (health information on the World Wide Web), and e-commerce. It provides some insight into what could be with regards to the possible use of the internet to create online and real life support groups and patient services.

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  1. Verrry interesting! It’s amazing to me how big and complex the social aspects of Internet use by cancer patients and families are. As always, it’s a shame that physician/patient interaction sucks on the Net. This just reinforced for me the thought that the #1 thing the Internet does is facilitate communication among people. And the “social software” you’re looking at, Randy, has something to do with it too, although it’s usually a little hard to fugure out just how. I guess peple just have to play around with new tech before settling on how it meets their needs. One thing seems sure: with broadband increasing and a slew on new gizmos out there, the possibilities are big.

  2. I read this, too, since it was published in our own journal. Important to note is that a great number of patients and their caregivers are using the internet to communicate (email) and to search for information. It looks like there is an emerging trend towards virtual communities, although there is not yet enough participating to impact masses. Our use of technology and merging business strategies that take advantage of technology is critical in meeting the needs of the people this article addresses. The Survivorship ILG has recommnended that our own Cancer Survivors Network site be re-designed to make it a comprehensive and interactive portal for these audiences.