Rethinking health: ICT-enabled services to empower people to manage their health

Anita Honka, Kirsikka Kaipainen, Henri Hietala, Niilo Saranummi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Lifestyle is a key determinant in the prevention and management of chronic diseases. If we would exercise regularly, eat healthy, control our weight, sleep enough, manage stress, not smoke and use alcohol only moderately, 90% of type II diabetes, 80% of coronary heart disease, and 70% of stroke could be prevented. Health statistics show that lifestyle related diseases are increasing at an alarming rate. Public health promotion campaigns and healthcare together are not effective enough to stop this "tsunami". The solution that is offered is to empower people to manage their health with the assistance of ICT-enabled services. A lot of R&D and engineering effort is being invested in Personal Health Systems. Although some progress has been made, the market for such systems has not yet emerged. The aim of this critical review is to identify the barriers which are holding back the growth of the market. It looks into the theoretical foundations of behavior change support, the maturity of the technologies for behavior change support, and the business context in which behavior change support systems are used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-139
Number of pages21
JournalIEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • behavior change support
  • co-production of health
  • ecosystem
  • health guides
  • health outreach
  • personal health systems
  • personal profile

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