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Using email to support health promotion in healthcare

A recent article by Helen Atherton, Christopher Huckvale and Josip Car in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare discussed the use of email in healthcare. The use of email as a method of transferring information between clinicians and patients is increasing. For example, email is now commonly used for the management of appointments and to provide test results. The widespread availability and use of email by the public creates opportunities for people to participate more actively in their own health care. One common use of email to support this is its use by primary care physicians to provide patients with additional information about disease prevention and health promotion, and thus reinforce the messages given during the consultation. The article confirmed that the use of email in healthcare developing rapidly, but also found that the evidence base to support the use of email is not well established, and that better research was needed if we are to maximise the benefits of this technology.

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