Deep history of credible health sciences evaluation...testing a way to inject it into community health
Back in 1995, when the web browser was just emerging, the World Health Organization launched Health on the Net. (https://www.hon.ch/en/) The original intent was that health information websites had to maintaiin and certify that their intent, presentation, and financing met a series of criteria:( https://www.hon.ch/en/certification/websites.html) authority- Who is the editorial tean and are they verifiable?
complementary- does not try to replace the physican-patient relationship
confidentiality- meets legal requirement for personal data
attribution- sources of health content are dated and verifiable
justifiability-information is objective, balanced, and transparent.
transparency-site is easy to use, mission clear, and the team is accessible
financial disclosure- sources of funding identified and transparent
advertising- advertising is clearly identifed and differentiated from objective content.
I am the principal investigator on a small project to teach this way of evaluating online health content to the next generation of community health workers, so that they in turn use their access to patients and consumers to know when to recommend that average people know not only a way to evaluate health information and offers popping up on their phone and computer screens, but also know that there are trustable directories of health information sources, like https://medlineplus.gov/ There are public libraries with consumer health specialists, and public librarians can take online and inperson courses to develop a consumer health specialty. Public Libraries can also partner with their regional medical library to figure out a path to health information literacy. https://nnlm.gov/