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Information Overload and Health Decisions

Illness is complicated. The tsunami of digital information currently available to most patients and caregivers doesn’t always simplify decision making, but can often make it worse. Further, the new role of patients as healthcare decision makers can leave these vulnerable stakeholders with a new burden to shoulder.
Simply put, to be useful, healthcare information must be delivered in a form where content and context is relevant and comprehensible to patients.
This conversation will facilitate the discussion among a physician, patient and medical communications expert to suggest new ways to successfully negotiate the “digital data dump” and associated patient alienation. Personalized digital storytelling will create a more informed decision maker and allow patients to appropriately contextualize their healthcare choices, to select options that best fit their needs.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How can we help patients negotiate the sea of undifferentiated, de-contextualized (mis)information they find online?
  2. What types of “experiential “ information should the healthcare industry or patient advocacy groups be looking to create to supplement the current “data dump” situation?
  3. What social media channels can best serve this informational need?
  4. Can the emergence of mobile technology play a role at “bed side” and “patient side” to provide a convenient and friendly source of information?
  5. What role will video play in the future of healthcare, and what role should it play?



Michael Zilligen, President, Ogilvy CommonHealth Specialty Marketing

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