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The Anticipated Positive Psychosocial Impact of Present Web-Based E-Health Services and Future Mobile Health Applications: An Investigation among Older Swedes

DOI: 10.1155/2013/509198

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This study investigates the anticipated psychosocial impact of present web-based e-health services and future mobile health applications among older Swedes. Random sample’s of Swedish citizens aged 55 years old and older were given a survey containing two different e-health scenarios which respondents rated according to their anticipated psychosocial impact by means of the PIADS instrument. Results consistently demonstrated the positive anticipation of psychosocial impacts for both scenarios. The future mobile health applications scored more positively than the present web-based e-health services. An increase in age correlated positively to lower impact scores. These findings indicate that from a psychosocial perspective, web-based e-health services and mobile health applications are likely to positively impact quality of life. This knowledge can be helpful when tailoring and implementing e-health services that are directed to older people. 1. Introduction The world is facing an increasingly aging population which is presently placing heavy demand on health care services, and this continues into the future [1]. There are growing expectations that e-health will be the solution for these demands. E-health refers to “tools and services using information and communication technologies (ICTs) that can improve prevention, diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and management and can benefit the entire community by improving access to care and quality of care and by making the health sector more efficient” [2]. The goal is to make e-health both more user-friendly and thus more widely accepted by involving patients in strategy, design, and implementation, as well as supporting the general increase in quality of life [2, 3]. European countries, such as Norway, Denmark, Germany, Greece, and Portugal, show steady development in using the Internet as a source for health information [4]. In Sweden, it is possible for citizens nationwide to use web-based e-health services offered by Swedish public health care providers to receive general e-health information online [5], receive personalized web-based e-health services (e.g., online e-prescription renewal), ask their doctors questions online, obtain medical devices, and reschedule doctor appointments [6, 7]. The next generation of e-health systems is mobile health applications that are “considered as the strongest contribution for the next generation e-health systems” [8]. These applications act closely with an individual and “focus on serving the needs of the user by providing widespread access to relevant information

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