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Digital Health Education

Family at a Beach

An estimated 7% of Google daily searches in 2019 were about health issues according to Google Health Vice President David Feinberg, MD as The Telegraph reports. In 20 years, health related questions using Google search engine have increased from a minimum of 6.75 million to one billion each day. More than 70,000 websites provide health information on the world wide web. Studies indicate improvements are needed in quality and readability of online health information. There is too much variation in quality standard with different motives, sources of reference, writing, language, advertising, authorship credentials and design. 1 2 3 4 5


Engage and empower Australians to find the best available health education using most effective online channels through education programs with resources. Improve information to help people managing urgent situation, increase control, improve health and prevent diseases. Active involvement in health learning can critically prioritise one’s personal health identity, correct behaviours, improve cognitive processing, increase constructive understanding and build social inclusiveness. Learners have a large range of health issues, life situations, characteristics, motives, priorities and previous knowledge. Reasonable adjustments in learning make access easier for people with different abilities, support needs, experiences and preferences. 6

Writing support can help with providing health information at a base standard of literacy for everyone.  Inclusive education is more successful using the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with reasonable adjustments and a standardised format. Use interactive content apps enabling stop/start for learners to be able to pace their learning. Ensure web pages are suitable for screen readers and keyboard access. Provide transcripts of audio videos in separate text files. Include captions for videos and images. Use alternative channels and resources with information for different literacy levels to broaden the scope of education. 7 8


Medical writing can improve information resources to simplify and ensure good standards in:


  • prevention

  • knowledge about conditions, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

  • messages to influence behaviours

  • instructions for care

  • personal stories to empower with peer support.


Writing services can increase effectiveness of interactive web portals, social media, telehealth triage, online classes and decision coaching. Consider your options to help clients most in need with activity guides, pre and post procedure instructions, tutorial navigation videos, comics, exercises, glossaries, checklists, flowchart, posters, scripts, questions with answers, prompt lists, decision aids, screening instruments and tracking logs.


1. Eysenbach, G., & Kohler. Ch. (2003). What is the prevalence of health-related searches on the World Wide Web? Qualitative and quantitative analysis of search engine queries on the internet. American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium Proceedings. 2003, 225-229.

2. Krištopaitytė, E. (2022, October 30). Google health and wellness searches trending In 2022. HealthNews. //

3. Boon-itt, S. (2019). Quality of health websites and their influence on perceived usefulness, trust and intention to use: an analysis from Thailand. Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 8(4).

4. Daraz, L.., Morrow, A. S., Ponce, O. J. et al. (2019). Can patients trust online health Information? A meta-narrative systematic review addressing the quality of health Information on the Internet. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 34, 1884–1891.

5. Li, Y., Fan. Z., Yuan, X. et al. (2022). Quality of health information for consumers on the web: A systematic review of indicators, criteria, tools, and evaluation results, Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 66(10).

6. CAST. (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2.

7. Badyal, D. K.., Singh, T. (2017) Learning theories: The basics to learn in medical education. International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research, 7 (1 Suppl.) S1-S3.  doi: 10.4103/ijabmr.IJABMR_385_17. 

8. Australian Disability Clearinghouse on Education and Training. (n,.d.). Reasonable Adjustments in Online Learning. Australian Government Department of Education.

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