chapter  23
Future directions in IBD: eHealth
Pages 9

Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has revolutionised the way in which people communicate and interact with others. Within the fi eld of medicine, the Internet has provided clinicians with another tool to facilitate communication and promote health behaviours, from an individual level (e.g. patients asked to provide regular updates regarding their current medication/symptoms via a website, email or mobile application) or at a population level (e.g. providing the public with psychoeducation around healthy eating, recommendations and ‘how to’ guides for cancer surveillance via websites). Although there is much debate as to how eHealth is defi ned, it can be generally referred to as ‘health services and information delivered or enhanced through the Internet and related technologies’ (Eysenbach 2001). Examples of eHealth technology include the use of websites (e.g.,, online databases (e.g. www., emails, discussion boards, blogs, microblogging (e.g. Twitter), or voice over Internet (e.g. Skype).