J Am Med Inform Assoc 15:8-13 doi:10.1197/jamia.M2492
  • Perspectives on Informatics
  • White Paper

Patient-centered Applications: Use of Information Technology to Promote Disease Management and Wellness. A White Paper by the AMIA Knowledge in Motion Working Group

  1. George Demirisa,
  2. Lawrence B Afrinb,
  3. Stuart Speediec,
  4. Karen L Courtneyd,
  5. Manu Sondhie,
  6. Vivian Vimarlundf,
  7. Christian Lovisg,
  8. William Goossenh,
  9. Cecil Lynchi
  1. aUniversity of Washington, Seattle, WA
  2. bMedical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
  3. cUniversity of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
  4. dUniversity of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  5. eHealth Care Analytics Group, Boston, MA
  6. fLinköping University, Linköping, Sweden
  7. gUniversity of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  8. hResults4Care, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  9. iUniversity of California, Davis, Davis, CA
  1. Correspondence: George Demiris, PhD, University of Washington, BNHS-Box 357266, Seattle, WA 98195-7266 e-mail: <gdemiris{at}>
  • Received 30 April 2007
  • Accepted 3 October 2007


Advances in information technology (IT) have introduced new design approaches that support health care delivery and patient education. Such advances enable a fundamental redesign of health care processes based on the use and integration of electronic communication at all levels. Healthcare IT has the potential to empower patients and support a transition from a role in which the patient is the passive recipient of care services to an active role in which the patient is informed, has choices, and is involved in the decision-making process.

New IT tools can enhance and supplement communication between health care professionals and patients. As a result, many informatics researchers and system designers who previously focused on designing IT applications that addressed the needs of health care providers and institutions are shifting toward patient-centered applications. Previous data models included episodic patient encounters as one type of health care transaction but did not capture the life course of the individual patient or consistently take an approach to ensure continuity of care. New technologies and advances in informatics research will enable support of patients as active consumers in a health care delivery system that is evolving from an institution-centric to a patient-centric model.1

Information technology tools can support interventions focusing on disease management and wellness. A disease management intervention is defined as “a set of coordinated health care interventions and communications for populations with conditions in which patient self-care efforts are significant.”2 Disease management programs aim to support patient-specific care plans and the provider-patient relationship via evidence-based guidelines. They focus on prevention of deterioration and/or complications. In the context of consumer empowerment, the paradigm of disease management can be extended to wellness management, where the focus is on the maintenance and improvement of the health status of any individual.

Patient-centered applications are defined as systems …

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