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Abstract

Although the Internet is in its second decade of wide-spread adoption, many patient-centered health websites are still in a phase of early adoption, scrambling to define and defend market segments in a shifting healthcare information landscape. Consequently, healthcare and health information providers are jockeying for position in a dynamic industry trying to serve different patients’ needs. To understand the situation, this article takes the approach of Patient-centered e-Health (PCEH) and makes three contributions. One, we empirically test the PCEH framework on patient-focused websites. Two, given the PCEH framework, we identify five categories of websites that serve different segments of the patient-centered health information market. Three, we analyze the five categories in terms of different features and derive a classification model. This article helps us better understand PCEH websites and guide the future development of online healthcare and health information services.

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