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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2006; 2006: 1190.
PMCID: PMC1839327

AboutKidsHealth: A Unique Initiative in Pediatric Consumer Health Informatics

Ross Hetherington, PhD, CPsych,1,3,4 Andrew James, MBChB, FRACP, FRCPC,1,2 Angela O’Neill,1 Kimberly Meighan, RN,1 and Brian Shaw, PhD, CPsych.1,3,4,5



Consumers of online health information are concerned with issues of quality and trust.

No sites presently offer comprehensive child health information and tools for families seeking solutions to complex questions that may involve disease, lifestyle, behavioral, and educational issues. Parents of children with complex health issues as well as parents of typically developing children, need a trusted, comprehensive online resource to inform and guide. To meet this need, The Hospital for Sick Children, with the support of founding sponsor TD Securities, launched a unique initiative, AboutKidsHealth in June2004. The project employs web technology combined with social marketing campaigns to promote and deliver evidence-based information and programmes in all major areas influencing child health and family quality of life. The web-based infrastructure will also be used to support selected research projects, and to provide enhanced communication and services for families of children with complex conditions and health professionals.

Description of presentation and demonstration

AboutKidsHealth delivers comprehensive, evidence-based child health information for parents of children with complex health issues, as well as parents of typically developing children, seeking solutions to questions that may involve disease, lifestyle, behavioural and educational issues. The presenters will describe the AboutKidsHealth determinants of health model that supports an inclusive approach to the enhancement of quality of life that embraces the home, the greater community, the education system, and the health system.

Effective communication via the Internet requires an understanding of user experience.

AboutKidsHealth ensured a high quality user experience by researching parents’ child health information needs, and by providing high quality, evidence based information to meet those needs. The presenters will describe the design and development of AboutKidsHealth. Topics will include the development of an information architecture that ensures ease of access and navigation, utilization of techniques to meet consumer expectations for a well designed, interactive, and visually pleasing interface, and the role of prototyping and usability testing in achieving communication goals.

The presentation will conclude with a live demonstration of the structure and function of the site.

Articles from AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings are provided here courtesy of American Medical Informatics Association