Improving an individual’s health literacy, which involves learning more about a particular condition and developing self-help skills, is especially helpful for people living with a chronic disease.
Chronic diseases are illnesses that usually last a lifetime and include diabetes, hypertension, asthma, heart failure, and more.
Often denial and fear of an illness after a diagnosis allows individuals to be ill-informed on associated health risks.
According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, modern day technologies like interactive games and virtual reality platforms can help people with diseases such as Type II diabetes make better choices and monitor their health on a regular basis.
“Our findings bring to light the unrealized power of information communication technologies as social platforms,” write the researchers.
The authors found that when people engage in interactive social platforms that are capable of building and hosting online therapeutic communities, they develop empathy for people who are living day-to-day with a chronic disease.
As the online therapeutic communities are developed, the players become peers who mentor one another in making better choices about their health.
For companies interested in funding grants that support the healthcare industry, study results support the need for establishing online therapeutic communities where visual platforms foster community engagement and create markets for new technologies.
The authors also point out a need for reforming patient education and the design and distribution of information related to a chronic disease like Type II diabetes.
“Emerging bio-health companies that develop monitoring products may also benefit from allowing customer input featured in their product designs,” the authors conclude.
“Patient visions of how these features can help alleviate trauma and improve lives show the power of the therapeutic community.”