OBJECTIVE: Address current topics in consumer health informatics.
METHODS: Literature review.
RESULTS: Current health care delivery systems need to be more effective in the management of chronic conditions as the population turns older and experiences escalating chronic illness that threatens to consume more health care resources than countries can afford. Most health care systems are positioned poorly to accommodate this. Meanwhile, the availability of ever more powerful and cheaper information and communication technology, both for professionals and consumers, has raised the capacity to gather and process information, communicate more effectively, and monitor the quality of care processes.
CONCLUSION: Adapting health care systems to serve current and future needs requires new streams of data to enable better self-management, improve shared decision making, and provide more virtual care. Changes in reimbursement for health care services, increased adoption of relevant technologies, patient engagement, and calls for data transparency raise the importance of patient-generated health information, remote monitoring, non-visit based care, and other innovative care approaches that foster more frequent contact with patients and better management of chronic conditions.