• 28Jan

    A focus on digital health information

    On Tuesday 24 January PIF held an event focusing on digital health information.

    The agenda covered creating digital health information, and using digital to increase the reach of health information. Sessions also looked at how you can make video work for service users, and digital support for people to look after their health.

    Nearly 100 participants joined us, from across the voluntary, NHS, commercial and academic sectors. Organisations who shared their experiences included Mind, the British Lung Foundation, CLIC Sargent and the National Elf Service, along with app developers, video producers, and academics conducting research into how people are using digital health information.

    PIF digital event delegates


    Top tips shared by our presenters included:

    • Trust has been articulated as key – people want to be able to trust the information they find online, and are aware that not all information on the web is reliable. So a key question is how to communicate to users that the information you are providing is reliable.
    • Think purpose and meaning, not just digital and channel. What purpose does using digital serve for your organisation or users?
    • Critical importance of developing digital information resources with the end user, so you can be confident that it will be useful and accessible to them. Understanding your audience and their needs – and developing resources that are fit for purpose.
    • Plan how users will be involved throughout the development of your digital information. Think about developing role descriptions for the users you work with, and take an iterative approach to testing and development. Often these users can develop into champions for sharing your digital information.
    • Importance of choosing the digital channel that your target users are already using – meeting people online where they are already.
    • People don’t come to your website through your homepage – so every page needs to work as a first experience.
    • Digital formats provide great opportunity to bring facts and personal experience closer together, to create more engaging content.
    • Think about optimising your digital content for search engines (SEO) – what are the terms that users will actually be typing into search engines and make sure these feature in your content, tags and titles.
    • People are often looking, and searching, for an answer to a specific question. A-Z lists can be a useful way to organise content, reducing ‘layers’ or categories of information.
    • Using the interactivity offered by Apps and digital formats to allow users to input details about their situation or preferences, and thereby be delivered with personalised information.
    • Opportunities of using ‘gamification’ to increase people’s ongoing engagement with your information resources and messages.
    • Developing digital skills needs time, there are lots of online training around SEO (search engine optimisation) and writing content for the web.

    We have created a Storify of tweets and photos of the day, where further learning points are shared by our delegates.

    PIF members can view the presentations from the event here.