Tag: online

Health is increasingly going online. But are some being left behind?

Older and vulnerable individuals could be left behind as healthcare and data move increasingly online.

European Union countries are not doing enough to help patients learn more about accessing and understanding health information digitally, a World Health Organization (WHO) survey suggests.


It shows that fewer than half of EU countries had digital education and inclusion plans to support people in understanding complex health information online.

The WHO survey also highlights a changing landscape in healthcare as patients increasingly access sensitive data using digital platforms and apps, a transition that expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the WHO urged European countries to help older and vulnerable individuals access health information so that some citizens are not left behind as health information moves increasingly online.

“It is a sad irony that people with limited or no digital skills are often the ones who stand to gain the most from digital health tools and interventions – like older persons or rural communities,” said Dr Hans Kluge, WHO’s Regional Director for Europe.

“Access to digital health tools is only useful if you know how to use them,” he added at a press conference.

The international agency highlighted multiple measures to improve access to digital inclusion including literacy training, access to broadband, improving access to data, and help for the elderly.

In Leeds, UK, public libraries allow free digital access and help for individuals to learn to use the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) app to improve health information literacy, the report said.

“We are concerned that under half (of WHO Europe countries) have a focus on digital health literacy,” Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat, WHO Europe’s Director of the Division of Country Health Policies and Systems, told Euronews Next.

“Why? For the simple fact that in healthcare, the bulk of our users tend to be older

New filtering approach may improve online health information experience

visual information
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Patients and their caregivers are increasingly turning to online communities, such as social media, for health information about disease and treatment. But doing so may not provide relevant or useful results, particularly for patients who are not familiar with health care language. A Penn State research team has proposed a new information-filtering approach for predicting future health information needs of online community participants as they move through different stages in their illness.

“The goal of our research is to take a patient’s social media posts and online health profile—typically a paragraph written by the patient or caregiver—and use that information to look for articles from trustworthy sources that can provide health information that is helpful to the patient,” said Sharon Huang, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the Penn State College of Information Science and Technology (IST), who led the study.

Leveraging the similarities of disease progression timelines among patients with the same diagnosis, the new approach incorporates user profiles, past posts and replies to predict topic tags—labels that help categorize online content and guide users. The researchers found that adjusting the decision-making mechanism underlying topic tag predictions may provide more personalized health care information and resources for online users.

They published their approach in the IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics.

“Patients expect health care providers to supply detailed information about their disease, prognosis and treatment,” Huang said, elaborating further on the motivation for the research study. “Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect between provider and patient in terms of the language used and the actual information that is shared.”

As a result, Huang said, patients may turn to online communities for information from peers—on topics such as treatment options and side effects of medications—in lay terms that are easier to understand. The

Roundup: TikTok joins Korea’s online youth mental health initiative and more briefs

TikTok joins youth mental health campaign in Korea

Social media platform TikTok in South Korea, together with the non-profit organisation Mental Health Korea, has tied up with the National Center for Mental Health to promote the mental well-being of young people.

Based on their memorandum of understanding, the organisations aim to improve youth mental health through the dissemination of correct information on mental health, creating an online atmosphere that is rid of stigma against mental health, and promoting public resources on mental health. 

“Through this collaboration, we will make efforts to ensure that many people receive accurate mental health information and services easily and quickly by using the infrastructure and resources possessed by each organisation,” Kwak Young-sook, head of NCMH, said.

Meanwhile, Tiktok Korea, which has been active in promoting mental wellness over the years, is currently working on a feature that limits the screen time of young people under 18 to 60 minutes daily on their TikTok accounts. 

HD secures funding for Vietnam expansion

Online surgery marketplace HD has received undisclosed funding from venture capital firm FEBE Ventures. 

According to a press statement, the fresh funding will help with the company’s expansion into Vietnam, deepening its presence across Southeast Asia. 

This investment adds to the $6 million that it raised early this year. Meanwhile, HD recently partnered with Johnson & Johnson Medtech in Thailand to help raise the surgical skills of surgeons operating on its HDmall and HDcare platforms. 

J&J Medtech to promote Huinno’s AI-powered ECG monitor

Health tech company Huinno has tied up with Johnson & Johnson Medtech to expand access to its AI-powered continuous ECG monitor across South Korea. 

The Korean medical device startup develops the Memo Patch Plus, a patch-type prescription device that can continuously monitor ECG for up to 14 days. It includes software that

The 5 Best Online Resources for Women’s Health Advice and Information

Despite science’s ever-developing understanding of health, its knowledge about women’s biological well-being is still lacking. In general, there is far less research into women’s health than men’s, and most existing medical health information is based on male bodies.

However, an increasing number of healthcare professionals are pushing for better focus and funding for women’s health. More resources are also being made accessible for the public to learn about women’s health, providing better transparency around research.

Below, we explain why there is a gender health gap and provide reputable online resources for you to learn more about women’s health.

Why Is There a Lack of Knowledge About Women’s Health?

Historically, female bodies (both animal and human) have been excluded from medical research for three main reasons:

  1. Fluctuating hormones. Due to the persistent idea that female hormonal cycles were a “nuisance” for controlled studies, female humans and animals were previously excluded from research in favor of male-only studies.
  2. Pregnancy. The risk of harming pregnancies has caused ethical issues for using fertile women in clinical trials.
  3. Lack of accessible options. In earlier research, during a time when women were considered the main primary caregivers, females were often unavailable to come to the trials when needed. Researchers didn’t offer accessible options and instead used males to conduct these studies.

To read more about medical gender bias and lacking research on women’s health, visit The Academy of Medical Sciences website. If you want to learn more about women’s health today, including what is being done in terms of research and support, then the following online resources can help.

1. Dr. Hazel Wallace—BSc, MSc, MBBCh (The Food Medic)

Screenshot of the Food Medics Instagram Page

Known by many as the Food Medic, Dr. Hazel Wallace is a registered medical doctor and nutritionist. Covering all manner of health topics, Dr. Wallace

These are our favorite online shopping sites for affordable (yet stylish) clothes for men

A man dressed stylishly holding onto a shoulder bag
Andrew Neel/Unsplash

Many of us want to step up our fashion game, but it’s not easy to stay financially stable when updating your wardrobe nowadays. Somehow, shelling out $300 for the best shoes isn’t something we should put high up on our priority list. While we enjoy treating ourselves to a splurge-worthy piece from time to time, we’re firm believers in being practical and realistic about where you actually spend your money, and that includes finding cheap clothes online that still make us look good.

Although they are a basic necessity, clothes aren’t usually at the top of that list. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style for affordability or comfort. There are a good number of affordable online clothing stores that offer high-end style, and we curated the best cheap clothes online for men to refresh your wardrobe without going beyond your budget.

Arket clothing worn by a man.
Courtesy of Arket


The Nordic style has made its way to become a major influence of both men’s and women’s fashion around the world. Arket is an online retailer that brings Copenhagen-inspired fashion-week looks to your closet. Before you run after hearing “fashion-week looks,” let us explain how Nordic-style takes on a much more casual approach to that. Think of it as if a street-style star and outdoor hipster had a baby. You’ll find everything from great knitwear and Sherpa fleece jackets to reliable footwear, all at an accessible price.

Asos clothing being modeled.
Courtesy of Asos


Asos is for the street-style guy, aiming to capture the latest trends with flashy colors, logos, and prints. You’ll find over 100 different brands from The North Face to Nike, Dr. Martens, Ellesee, and more on this digitally native retailer. Asos always has a sale, so you’ll easily score a great deal on your favorite brand names.

Boohoo clothing worn by a model.
Courtesy of

Manitobans gave more private info than necessary in online sale of park pass, licences: ombudsman

Manitobans are required to disclose too much personal information to buy a provincial park pass or hunting and fishing licence online, the province’s ombudsman ruled.

The report argues it “is not reasonably necessary” that customers reveal their driver’s licence number, passport number or personal health identification number to use the third-party online system, which Manitoba started using in 2020.

Divulging personal information for this purpose contravenes the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Personal Health Information Act, the ombudsman said.

Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s former privacy commissioner, said the level of information Manitobans are disclosing to visit a provincial park or cast a fishing line is “absurd.” 

“Personal health information is being collected, which it shouldn’t, and sensitive information like passport numbers and drivers licences just to get a hunting licence or whatever?” she said. “Far too excessive.”

The ombudsman called on the province to immediately stop collecting people’s personal health identification number and destroy all records, which the province says it did last year.

The report also recommends the province limit the collection of other forms of personal information, such as a driver’s licence or passport number. This information is considered an “identifier” that’s required when setting up a customer account.

A woman standing.
Ann Cavoukian, the former privacy commissioner of Ontario, says the level of information requested for Manitobans to use the e-licensing service for park passes or fishing licences is ‘absurd.’ (Joe Fiorino/CBC)

The government said it is currently working to address that recommendation — but not fast enough, Cavoukian argued.

“That’s the most damaging one,” she said. “The enormous concern is when personal identifiers are used and collected in methods like this.”

Cavoukian, who founded the “privacy by design” concept that calls on embedding privacy protections from the beginning to prevent future harms, said identity theft is

HOW TO: Trusted sources — always keep a critical eye on who is presenting health information online and what their true motives are


Drink apple cider vinegar to control your blood sugar. Microwaves give you cancer. Baby carrots are soaked in formaldehyde.

Everywhere we turn, we are inundated with health information. It seems that everyone has an opinion and, sometimes, it is hard to know who or what to believe.

Felicia Newell stresses how important it is to be careful of the content we consume, especially on social media.

Newell is a clinical dietitian in the health-care system and registered dietitian in private practice in St. John’s, N.L. In private practice, her aim is supporting clients with meeting nutrient needs, weight management, chronic illness management such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, digestive health conditions and more.

She is quite aware of all the false health information that is circulated, especially online.

“There is a rising increase in misinformation on social media from unqualified experts, particularly around health and nutrition,” said Newell.

“There is a rising increase in misinformation on social media from unqualified experts, particularly around health and nutrition,” says Felicia Newell, a dietitian in St. John’s, N.L. Contributed - Contributed
“There is a rising increase in misinformation on social media from unqualified experts, particularly around health and nutrition,” says Felicia Newell, a dietitian in St. John’s, N.L. Contributed – Contributed


But why are we so quick to believe what we see on social media over what qualified experts say?

Social media influencers get to the status of influencer for a reason, explained Newell. They educate themselves in marketing and growing an online presence or platform for the purpose of promoting their brand, message, or product. They try different strategies and messages to see what works or what doesn’t and, because of this, they know how to get engagement and sell their product, brand and ideas.

Scientists and experts, on the other hand, have spent all their time training and educating themselves in their field and, once they become experts, are also typically working full-time

WHO/Europe explores collaborations to improve quality of health information online

The WHO Office on Quality of Care and Patient Safety in Athens recently joined forces with YouTube Health to host a workshop in Berlin to enhance the quality of health information online and support Member States’ efforts in this area. This collaborative endeavour lays the groundwork to promote health literacy and make high-quality health information universally accessible. 

“We are very much looking forward to working together for a world where people can access the health information they need online without having to guess its accuracy,” noted Dr Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat, Director of WHO/Europe’s Division of Country Health Policies and Systems, at the workshop. 

The role of digital platforms in health 

The COVID-19 pandemic brought into the spotlight the prominent role of digital platforms in disseminating health-related information and the importance of reliable information, while also exposing the potential perils of misinformation and disinformation. Data indicates that, in the WHO European Region, a large share of consultations now take place online, as people’s initial approach is to search for symptoms and medical advice online. Health-related searches make up 7% of daily online searches, with approximately 4 billion results related to COVID-19. 

In 2021, YouTube had over 110 billion views of health condition videos globally and is working on raising high-quality health content to make it easier for people to identify credible information that can help answer their questions. Commenting on the platform’s impact in the online space, Dr Nira Goren, Clinical Lead at YouTube Health, said, “People use platforms like YouTube to seek answers to questions, such as how do I live with breast cancer or how do I take care of myself.” An increasing number of individuals are also turning to online platforms to share personal stories, alleviate acute distress, and build a community to help decrease feelings of isolation.


Khartoum residents seek medical advice online as hospitals attacked

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The World Health Organization has urged both sides in Sudan to pause fighting to allow people to get medical attention, as Khartoum’s residents have banded together on social media offering aid, advice and support as fighting between two rival factions within the military junta entered its sixth day. 

The WHO’s regional director, Ahmed Al-Mandhari on Thursday called for both sides in conflict to observe a in pause fighting to allow people receive medical attention and to open up a humanitarian passage for health workers, patients and ambulances.

This comes as people have been trapped inside their homes for days as intense street battles rage between Sudan’s rival generals. 

Meanwhile, Khartoum’s residents have reportedly banded together on social media offering aid, advice and support.

Online first aid, WhatsApp crowd-sourcing

WhatsApp groups crowd-source needs, while medical professionals upload first-aid video tutorials, and others in the city of more than five million people work together to provide any support they can.

Like many Sudanese barricaded in their homes – avoiding windows for fear of gunfire – Twitter user Mujtaba Musa turned to social media, asking over 200,000 followers to “share calls for help” to “try to connect those in need.”

Since fighting erupted on Saturday – with fighter jets launching air strikes in the city and artillery fire in densely populated areas – civilians have become increasingly desperate, with dwindling food supplies, power outages, and a lack of running water.

On Twitter, under the Arabic hashtags like #Khartoum_Needs, residents of each district have been mobilising support and solidarity.

On WhatsApp, hundreds of users joined a group to pool resources.

The messages are heart-breaking: Kholood needs baby formula, Hisham is looking for a car, and a third anonymous user pleads for a phone credit

Online video: Workshop on ‘miniature fashion’ for dolls attracts fantastic turnout at Langley City library

‘An introduction to miniature fashion design and alterations’ drew more than 20 people to the Langley City branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library to try their hand at making clothing for dolls and plush toys on Saturday, March 25. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)‘An introduction to miniature style style and alterations’ drew more than 20 persons to the Langley Metropolis department of the Fraser Valley Regional Library to consider their hand at building outfits for dolls and plush toys on Saturday, March 25. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Instances)
A plush toy was fitted for hand-made custom clothes at ‘an introduction to miniature fashion design and alterations’ at the Langley City branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library on Saturday, March 25. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)A plush toy was equipped for hand-made tailor made clothing at ‘an introduction to miniature vogue design and alterations’ at the Langley City department of the Fraser Valley Regional Library on Saturday, March 25. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Progress Periods)
Jenn (left) was working repairing ‘Beaky’ a prized stuffed toy, while an amused Sharon (centre) was helping her daughter craft clothes for a ‘naked’ Ken doll at ‘an introduction to miniature fashion design and alterations’ workshop held at the Langley City branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library on Saturday, March 25. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Jenn (still left) was working restoring ‘Beaky’ a prized stuffed toy, while an amused Sharon (centre) was helping her daughter craft clothing for a ‘naked’ Ken doll at ‘an introduction to miniature manner style and alterations’ workshop held at the Langley Town branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library on Saturday, March 25. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Moments)
Some examples of hand-crafted doll clothes at ‘an introduction to miniature fashion design and alterations’ workshop that drew more than 20 people to the Langley City branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library on Saturday, March 25. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Some examples of hand-crafted doll clothes at ‘an introduction to miniature manner design and style and alterations’ workshop that drew additional than 20 people to the Langley City branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library on Saturday, March 25. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Periods)

‘An introduction to miniature manner style and alterations’ drew additional than 20 people to the Langley Town branch of the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) to test their hand at generating clothes for dolls and plush toys on Saturday, March 25.

It was an chance for anybody 10 and older to master the basics of hand stitching to make outfits for dolls, stuffies, action. figures, or miniature figurines.

At one particular desk in a library arts and crafts area that was near to capability, Rosetta, who is developing up in Langley Metropolis, was measuring cloth for a smaller posable wood determine on a stand.

“It’s for my model,” Rosetta stated.

“I want to sketch her.”

She uses her

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