Healthcare Informatics & Health Information Technology (SIG Health)

Paper Type

ERF

Paper Number

1356

Description

Obesity and overweight are a major public health issue affecting more than 70 million adults in the US. Nutritional care provides non-invasive means for preventing and managing obesity and overweight. Even though in-person nutritional counseling positively impacts patient engagement, the effect of in-person nutritional counseling is short-lived. Leveraging digital health tools can prolong the effects of in-person interventions. These tools, however, put a physical distance between patients and providers. Physical proximity and presence are an essential part of human-centered care. It is not clear if digital health tools can create a sense of presence among users. This study aims to address the gap in understanding virtual presence in the use of digital health tools. First, we explore how patients achieve virtual presence in mHealth and telemedicine. Then, we explore the relationship between virtual presence and patient engagement.

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Aug 9th, 12:00 AM

Exploring the Role of Virtual Presence in Using Digital Tools to Support Middle-Aged Adults Manage Obesity and Overweight

Obesity and overweight are a major public health issue affecting more than 70 million adults in the US. Nutritional care provides non-invasive means for preventing and managing obesity and overweight. Even though in-person nutritional counseling positively impacts patient engagement, the effect of in-person nutritional counseling is short-lived. Leveraging digital health tools can prolong the effects of in-person interventions. These tools, however, put a physical distance between patients and providers. Physical proximity and presence are an essential part of human-centered care. It is not clear if digital health tools can create a sense of presence among users. This study aims to address the gap in understanding virtual presence in the use of digital health tools. First, we explore how patients achieve virtual presence in mHealth and telemedicine. Then, we explore the relationship between virtual presence and patient engagement.

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