Background: The recent increase in the public’s interest in health matters has been accompanied by greater attention to the development of Web-based programs by many health-related professional and educational services. Wikiheart is a Web-based program that has been designed to narrow the gaps between care and secondary prevention by directly delivering knowledge to patients in their homes and communities.
Purpose: To develop a Web-based program aimed at educating patients and targeted to the specific learning needs of patients with heart disease and associated risk factors.
Methods and results: This pilot program is relatively easy to use, web-based educational model. It consists of a collaborative feature, the content of which can be easily edited by users, thus enabling powerful information sharing, interactive chat and article discussions. Participants are categorized into two principal groups: (1) invited or volunteer medical professionals; and (2) patients with their own experiences. This program can be used as an information resource for patients and method of real-time communication between healthcare professionals and patients. This virtual program allows patients to engage with each other, share experiences and become part of an online community. As an online interactive medical reference, this program is also intended to help patients with heart disease learn more about their specific conditions and be educated about preventive measures. For patient confidentiality, password protection would be employed and all clinical images and videos would be required to be de-identified. Material that violates patient privacy will be easily removed.
Conclusions: Wikiheart aims to enable the sharing of knowledge relevant to secondary prevention and thus improve the quality of care for patients with heart disease or cardiovascular risk factors. If successfully implemented, the program is likely to enhance researchers’, healthcare providers’ and patients’ learning experiences, and communication within digital world, leading to the improvement of clinic outcome and adherence for patients. Further research is needed in order to identify the best approaches to apply these tools and ultimately boost research productivity, learning experience and patient education.
Reference : Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes 8 (Suppl 2), A247-A247