How do we understand health in relation to society? What role does culture play in shaping our experiences of, and orientation to, health and illness? How do we understand medicine and medical treatment within a sociological framework?


Michael Hardey

eHealth (or e-health) is a relatively recent concept in medical sociology. The inclusion of it here reflects the now ubiquitous role of computers and digital communications technologies in medical practice, the organization of health care, and everyday life. However, the concept is not clearly defined (Pagliari et al., 2005). In the sociological literature, the label ‘eHealth’ is mainly used broadly to indicate the intervention of some form of digital mediation. This umbrella usage covers all aspects of digital health technologies, from patients researching symptoms on the internet to the use of remote body sensors. In a similar fashion, the label ‘health informatics’ is used to ...

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