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Hardcover | $9.75 Short | £8.95 | 400 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 57 b&w illus., 8 tables | August 2010 | ISBN: 9780262014328
eBook | $28.00 Short | August 2010 | ISBN: 9780262290166
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Health Informatics

A Patient-Centered Approach to Diabetes


The healthcare industry has been slow to join the information technology revolution; handwritten records are still the primary means of organizing patient care. Concerns about patient privacy, the difficulty of developing appropriate computing tools and information technology, high costs, and the resistance of some physicians and nurses have hampered the use of technology in health care. In 2009, the U.S. government committed billions of dollars to health care technology. Many questions remain, however, about how to deploy these resources.

In Health Informatics, experts in technology, joined by clinicians, use diabetes—a costly, complex, and widespread disease that involves nearly every facet of the health care system—to examine the challenges of using the tools of information technology to improve patient care. Unlike other books on medical informatics that discuss such topics as computerized order entry and digital medical records, Health Informatics focuses on the patient, charting the information problems patients encounter in different stages of the disease.

Chapters discuss ubiquitous computing as a tool to move diabetes care out of the doctor’s office, technology and chronic disease management, educational gaming as a way to help patients understand their disease, patient access to information, and methodological and theoretical concerns. We need both technologists and providers at the drawing board in order to design and deploy effective digital tools for health care. This book examines and exemplifies this necessary collaboration.

About the Editors

Barbara M. Hayes is Associate Dean for Administration and Planning at Indiana University School of Informatics at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis.

William Aspray is Bill and Lewis Suit Professor of Information Technologies in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the coeditor of Women and Information Technology: Research on Underrepresentation (2006) and The Internet and American Business (2008), both published by the MIT Press.

Table of Contents

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Informatics
  • A Patient-Centered Approach to Diabetes
  • edited by Barbara M. Hayes and William Aspray
  • The MIT Press
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • London, England
  • © 2010
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher.
  • For information about special quantity discounts, please email
  • This book was set in Stone Sans and Stone Serif by Toppan Best-set Premedia Limited.
  • Printed and bound in the United States of America.
  • Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
  • Health informatics : a patient-centered approach to diabetes / edited by Barbara M. Hayes and William Aspray.
  •  p. ; cm.
  • Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • ISBN 978-0-262-01432-8 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Diabetes—Data processing. 2. Medical informatics. I. Hayes, Barbara M., 1955– II. Aspray, William.
  • [DNLM: 1. Diabetes Mellitus—therapy. 2. Medical Informatics—methods. 3. Patient Education as Topic. WK 26.5 H434 2010]
  • RA645.D5H427 2010
  • 362.196′46200285—dc22
  • 2009045907
  • 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
  • Contents
  • Introduction vii
  • I Diabetes in Sociotechnical Context 1
  • 1 The Informatics of Diabetes
  • :
  • A Research Agenda for the Socially and Institutionally Sensitive Use of Information Technology to Improve Health Care 3
  • Barbara M. Hayes and William Aspray
  • II Moving Diabetes Care Outside the Doctor’s Office: Experiments in Ubiquitous Computing 83
  • 2 Understanding the Potential of Ubiquitous Computing for Chronic Disease Management 85
  • Elizabeth D. Mynatt, Gregory D. Abowd, Lena Mamykina, and Julie A. Kientz
  • 3 An Iterative Discovery Approach in Designing Ubicomp Technologies That Assist Individuals in Managing Diabetes 107
  • Lena Mamykina and Elizabeth D. Mynatt
  • III Uses of Educational Gaming in Diabetes Treatment 129
  • 4 Diabetes and Obesity
  • :
  • Can Videogames Help? 131
  • Lynne Harris, Jon DeShazo, and Wanda Pratt
  • 5 Diabetes Education and Serious Gaming
  • :
  • Teaching Adolescents to Cope with Diabetes 151
  • Anthony Faiola and Hadi Kharrazi
  • IV Other Technological Explorations in Diabetes Care 179
  • 6 Relational Agents for Chronic Disease Self-Management 181
  • Timothy Bickmore
  • 7 Designing Information to Facilitate Chronic Disease Management
  • :
  • Clinician–Patient Interactions in Diabetes Care 205
  • Mark S. Ackerman and Barbara Mirel
  • V Changing the Equation: Patient Access to Information 227
  • 8 Information and Communication Technologies for Diabetes Self-Management and Education
  • :
  • User-Centered Perspectives 229
  • Mia Liza A. Lustria and Linda Lockett Brown
  • 9 Mother, My Medical Record
  • :
  • What Role Do Patients with Chronic Conditions and Parents Play in the Management of Their Medical Information? 271
  • Carsten S. Østerlund, Nienke P. Dosa, and Catherine Arnott Smith
  • VI Methodological and Theoretical Considerations 293
  • 10 Using Behavior Change Theory to Understand and Guide Technological Interventions 295
  • Tammy Toscos and Kay Connelly
  • 11 Achieving Success in Research Collaborations in Health Informatics 327
  • Katie A. Siek and Kay Connelly
  • About the Authors 347
  • Index 355


“This collection organizes the best thinking and technologies related to the broad range of information challenges, including access, language complexity, quality, and privacy, that face people with chronic conditions such as diabetes. The sociotechnical perspective taken by this extraordinary set of researchers serves as a model for applying information technology to a broad range of health informatics challenges beyond the case of diabetes.”
Gary Marchionini, University of North Carolina