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Health Communication and Health Information Technology

Health communication is the study and use of communication strategies to inform and influence individual and community decisions that enhance health. Health communication considers a variety of channels to deliver its targeted or tailored messages to specific segments among varied audiences, including individuals, communities, health professionals, special groups, and decision makers.

Health information technology includes digital tools and services (e.g., mobile phone apps, e-mail messaging) that can be used to enhance patients’ self-care, facilitate patient-provider communication, inform health behaviors and decisions, prevent health complications, and promote health equity.

  • The scope of health communication includes disease prevention, health promotion, health care policy, and the business of health care as well as enhancement of the quality of life and health of individuals within the community.
  • Health communication considers a variety of channels to deliver its targeted or tailored messages to specific segments among varied audiences, including individuals, communities, health professionals, special groups, and policy makers.

Social marketing is the use of strategic marketing practices “…to influence social behaviors not to benefit the marketer, but to benefit the target audience” (Kotler & Andreasen, 2003).

  • Social marketing is customer centered and focuses on three major decisions: segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Guided by these decisions, the “marketing mix” (or 4 Ps of marketing: place, price, product and promotion) is developed to produce the desired responses in the target markets.
  • Eight established benchmark criteria have been widely accepted as essential components of social marketing efforts: consumer orientation, insight, behavioral objectives, segmentation, exchange, competition, marketing mix, and theory.

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