Human Factors International report on trends in health information seeking

According to the latest issue of Health Factors International newsletter, World Usability Day this year focuses on health care. HFI released a report today on trends in seeking health information via the Web. There are some interesting implications for elders.

Comparing search habits in 2002 and 2006, as you would expect, the number of information seekers has grown significantly. At the same time, more and more specialized information has become available.

I am much heartened by this news, as I envision tens of thousands of us elders annually for the next few years hitting the ether to find ways to be better informed about our health and quality of life as we age.

In effect, this will eventually help lessen the burden on younger, smaller generations as we elders shoulder more of the responsibility for our own health care by staying connected to the community and continuing to learn.

Watching Ronni Bennett's presentation at Gnomedex and the robust Q & A period following, I was struck by the intense response of many of the younger audience to explore the issue of usability for a huge chunk of the population. Kudos to Ronni for making that conversation public and raising awareness, and to Chris Pirillo for offering her a high-exposure venue. Her presentation deserves much more comment.

Cool beans.


Traumatic Brain Injury

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Fried Okra Productions was in beginning stages of promoting a benefit concert with Little Feat and the Brain Injury Association of Texas. There is already an overwhelming need for services for TBI patients, and new studies from the Iraq War show that troops are returning home with TBI not only from direct injury to the head, but from trauma sustained through just being in proximity to explosions. The shock waves pummel the brain and lead to degeneration of neurons long after the exposure.

Veterans medical services are just not footing the bill. We are fixin' to have a problem that we have no means of handling at the present.

I am very excited that my brother in law is attending a summit on TBI in Washington, D.C. next week along with only 30 or 40 other TBI experts from the private, public, and military sectors. Their consequent report will be a must read for all medical providers and TBI supporters.

Perhaps it's time to dust off the old plans and try once again to put together what we envisioned before the war. We have even more reason to do it. Originally, we were going to limit it to Texas, but I don't see why we can't start with Texas and go national. Takes a lot of grassroots effort, and we had some good traction. Some of the obstacles have disappeared, so the prospect is even more hopeful.

I'll need to retire from my day gig, though. At the moment, it's eating up my time, energy, and health. I love what I do, especially learning new tech. There's a limit to how much I'll give to the man on such lousy pay--much rather be doing something I love with other people I love for free all day long.


Portraits from the Sixties

What to do with 6 large cardboard boxes full of slides?

So here are more of my friends. I really need a new scanner...