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Can health 2.0 address critical healthcare challenges? Insights from the case of how online social networks can assist in combatting the obesity epidemic

Hacker, Janine, Wickramasinghe, Nilmini and Durst, Carolin 2017, Can health 2.0 address critical healthcare challenges? Insights from the case of how online social networks can assist in combatting the obesity epidemic, Australasian journal of information systems, vol. 21, pp. 1-17, doi: 10.3127/ajis.v21i0.1357.

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Title Can health 2.0 address critical healthcare challenges? Insights from the case of how online social networks can assist in combatting the obesity epidemic
Author(s) Hacker, Janine
Wickramasinghe, NilminiORCID iD for Wickramasinghe, Nilmini orcid.org/0000-0002-1314-8843
Durst, Carolin
Journal name Australasian journal of information systems
Volume number 21
Start page 1
End page 17
Total pages 17
Publisher Department of Business Systems, University of Wollongong & School of Computing and Information Technology, Monash University
Place of publication Wollongong, N.S.W.
Publication date 2017
ISSN 1449-8618
Keyword(s) online social networks
Health 2.0 application
design science methodology
obesity
Summary One of the serious concerns in healthcare in this 21st century is obesity. While the causes of obesity are multifaceted, social networks have been identified as one of the most important dimensions of people's social environment that may influence the adoption of many behaviours, including health-promoting behaviours. In this article, we examine the possibility of harnessing the appeal of online social networks to address the obesity epidemic currently plaguing society. Specifically, a design science research methodology is adopted to design, implement and test the Health 2.0 application called "Calorie Cruncher". The application is designed specifically to explore the influence of online social networks on individual's health-related behaviour. In this regard, pilot data collected based on qualitative interviews indicate that online social networks may influence health-related behaviours in several ways. Firstly, they can influence people's norms and value system that have an impact on their health-related behaviours. Secondly, social control and pressure of social connections may also shape health-related behaviours, and operate implicitly when people make food selection decisions. Thirdly, social relationships may provide emotional support. Our study has implications for research and practice. From a theoretical perspective, the article inductively identifies three factors that influence specific types of health outcomes in the context of obesity. From a practical perspective, the study underscores the benefits of adopting a design science methodology to design and implement a technology solution for a healthcare issue as well as the key role for online social media to assist with health and wellness management and maintenance.
Language eng
DOI 10.3127/ajis.v21i0.1357
Field of Research 0806 Information Systems
1503 Business And Management
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, Hacker, Wickramasinghe & Durst
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30095798

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.