Cultivating Digital Health Literacy

Bundaberg Regional Libraries is launching a Digital Health Literacy Program that will run throughout 2018 and 2019. This program has been made possible due to the $50,000 funding awarded by the Be Connected Capacity Building Grant Scheme.

This program is designed to facilitate participants’ understanding of health information in the digital age and how this information can empower them in ways conducive to improving their quality of life. Key objectives underpinning this initiative are building confidence and skills within participants that enable them to navigate health information websites and evaluate and apply the information therein at their discretion.

This program is further structured to educate about various technologies available that are used to deliver health information. For example, participants will become familiar with Telehealth Communication and how this technology works to overcome isolation problems frequently experienced by those living in regional areas. Guest speakers from Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service will also deliver monthly talks on a variety of subjects from heart disease to coping with end of life issues.

In addition, participants will have the opportunity to experience Virtual Reality as it is used in the health care industry. This aspect is intended to provide an experiential insight into how Virtual Reality is utilised to train, diagnose, and treat patients through software that supports exposure therapy for phobias, simulated procedures, and virtual anatomy. Subsequently, participants are informed of cutting edge technologies applied in medicine in a way that engenders both interest and assurance in the proficiency of the health sector.

Bundaberg Regional Libraries believes this program will be a real boon to the community as a significant avenue for aiding the wellbeing of residents.

About the author

Stephen Harris is the Information Service Librarian at Bundaberg Regional Libraries.