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ehealth describes the use of information & communications technology (ICT) to improve health & healthcare

eHealth is seen as providing answers to some of the key challenges facing Western health systems in the twenty-first century:

  • Providing for an ageing population with increasing prevalence of chronic illness, which is increasingly expensive to treat;
  • Improving patient safety and reducing errors;
  • Supporting patients to become informed consumers who take an active role in their own health care.

eHealth encompasses services such as health-related internet information sites, automated online therapy, email consultations, online pharmacies, telehealth, home monitoring systems and virtual clinics. It also includes information technology-based health system developments such as shared electronic records, computerized decision support systems, electronic prescribing and electronic booking of appointments, which will bring profound changes to the organisation and delivery of health care. An increasingly important area for ehealth is the peer-to-peer sharing of (health) information in social media. The department is home to several eHealth related projects and researchers . We have particular strengths in social science informed research on how the internet affects the public, patients, clinicians and health and care organisations.

Ongoing projects

  • iPEx
  • Telehealth 
  • Development of research investigating the quality and safety of using email for consultation in general practice

    Example publications

    • Mazanderani FH, O'Neill B, Powell J. “People power” or “pester power”? YouTube as a forum for the generation of evidence and patient advocacy. Patient Education & Counseling. In Press 2013.
    • Powell J, Hamborg T, Burls A, Stallard N, McSorley J, Bennett K, Griffiths K, Christensen H. The PsyWell study: Randomised Controlled Trial of an intervention to improve mental wellbeing in the general population. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2012;15(1):e2
    • Powell J, Boden S. Greater choice and control? Health policy and the online health consumer. Policy & Internet. 2012;4(2):1-23.
    • Atherton, H. Pappas, Y. Heneghan, C. Murray, E. Experiences of using email for general practice consultations: a qualitative study. British Journal of General Practice. 63(616): e760-e767.
    • Atherton H, Sawmynaden P, Sheikh A, Majeed A, Car J. (2012) Email for clinical communication between patients/caregivers and healthcare professionals. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 11.
    • Ziebland S.  Wyke S. (2012)  Health and illness in a connected world:  how might  sharing experiences on the internet affect people’s health? Milbank Quarterly 90 (2) 219-249
    • Sue Ziebland, Julie Evans and Alison Chapple. Qualitative studies of the benefits and adverse effects of the availability of cancer information and support on the internet. In Whitten, P., Kreps, G., & Eastin, M.S. (Eds.) E-Health: The Advent of Online Cancer Information Systems, Hampton Press: USA. June 2011.
    • Seale C, Charteris-Black J, Ziebland S. Gender, cancer experience and internet use: A comparative keyword analysis of interviews and online cancer support groups. Social Science and Medicine 2006; 62: 2577-2590
    • Ziebland S The importance of being expert: how men and women with cancer use the Internet Social Science and Medicine  2004; 59 :1783-1793
    • Chapple, Alison; Evans, Julie; and Ziebland, Sue (2012) "An Alarming Prognosis: How People Affected by Pancreatic Cancer Use (and Avoid) Internet Information,"Policy & Internet: Vol. 4: Iss. 2, Article 3
    • Chapple, A. Ziebland, S. How the Internet is changing the experience of bereavement by suicide: A qualitative study in the UK. Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine 2011; 15(2): 173-187
    • Ziebland S, Chapple A, Dumelow C, Evans J, Prinjha S, Rozmovits L. How the Internet affects patients’ experience of cancer. A qualitative study.  BMJ 2004; 328 :564 – 567 (this is an abridged version; the full version is on
    • Hinton, L. Kurinczuk, J. Ziebland, S.  Infertility; isolation and the internet.  Patient Education and Counseling 81 (2010) 436-441