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To Design Holistic Health Service Systems on the Internet
There are different kinds of online systems on the Internet for people who need support and develop new knowledge. Online communities and Ask the Expert systems are two such systems. In the health care area, the number of users of these systems has increased at a rapid pace. Interactions with medical trained experts take place online, and people with concerns about similar health problems come together to share experiences and advice. The systems are also used as storages and browsed for health information. Over the years, studies have been conducted of the usage of the different systems. However, in what ways the systems can be used together to enhance learning has not been explored. This paper presents results from a study of online health-communities and an Ask the Expert system for people who suffer from overweight. Differences and similarities in regards to posted issues and replies are discussed, and suggestions for a new holistic design of the two systems are presented.
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