Health Literacy & New Technology: An App Challenge (HLOL #115)

LierLanghansODPHPTo reach and teach people “where they are,” the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services challenged designers to create a “health literate app” for use on mobile devices (cell phones and tablets). This builds on health content from ODPHP’s consumer-oriented website about prevention, www.healthfinder.gov

This podcast is with the co-leader’s of ODPHP’s Mobile App Challenge:

  • Ellen Langhans (right, in the photo) is the healthfinder.gov Program Manager at ODPHP. Her role is to ensure the use of plain language and health literacy principles in healthfinder.gov along with its outreach and marketing materials.
  • Silje Lier is a Communication Advisor at ODPHP. She manages the outreach community for healthfinder.gov. She also supports outreach for many ODPHP initiatives including Healthy People 2020, Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy.

In this podcast, Ellen Langhans and Silje Lier talk with Helen Osborne about:

  • How people use mobile devices to access health information.
  • What ODPHP’s Mobile App Challenge was and how it led to the development of an app that is creative, functional, and consistent with health literacy principles.
  • Good app features to include action-oriented content, longevity (capacity for the app to grow and change), and functions that keep users engaged.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 27, 34, 36.

Read the podcast transcript

IOM’s Health Literacy Roundtable (HLOL #114)

lhernandez150pctscaleLyla Hernandez has been a Senior Program Officer at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for many years. She served as the study director for projects that include public health, health indicators, genomics, complementary and alternative medicine, and Gulf War veterans’ health. Now, Hernandez is the Staff Director of IOM’s Health Literacy Roundtable.

In this podcast, Lyla Hernandez talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • IOM’s Health Literacy Roundtable: What it is, who’s involved, and how it works.
  • Examples of how IOM’s Health Literacy Roundtable is helping to create a more health literate environment for individuals and organizations.
  • Free learning tools and resources from IOM’s Health Literacy Roundtable. These include workshops, discussion papers, and webcasts.

More Ways to Learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 1, 4, 27.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

Len & Ceci Doak Discuss Health Literacy’s Past, Present and Future (HLOL #13)

Cecelia (Ceci) and Leonard (Len) Doak are a husband and wife team who, for over 30 years, helped lead the way to health literacy. Their book, workshops, and articles have inspired advocates everywhere to improve health understanding.

Ceci started as a commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service. During her more 20 years there, Ceci developed and led numerous health education programs. In fact, she received a commendation from the Surgeon General for her work educating the public about cancer.

Len comes to health literacy via adult education, volunteering for many years as a tutor of non-readers. Len’s first career was as a Navy engineer and among his many accomplishments he helped simplify instructions for crews working on ships and submarines.

Len & Ceci co-authored the award-winning book, Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills. In their non-profit business Patient Learning Associates, Inc., Len and Ceci have written guidelines for many important projects and analyzed the suitability of over 2,000 healthcare materials in virtually all formats. They have presented at more than 200 health literacy workshops, training thousands of health professionals in all disciplines.

In this Health Literacy Out Loud podcast, they talk with Helen Osborne about the past, present, and future of health literacy. Topics include:

  • How health literacy began more than 30 years ago
  • Why health literacy was important then and is even more so today
  • Strategies to improve communication and assess if messages are understood
  • Ceci & Len Doak’s vision for health literacy in the future

More ways to learn:

  • Doak, Doak, & Root, Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills, Second Edition. 1996. Available for free at Harvard University School of Public Health’s Health Literacy Studies website, http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/healthliteracy/resources/doak-book/
  • Houts, Doak, Doak, Lascalzo. “The role of pictures in improving health communication:  A review of research on the benefits of pictures on attention, comprehension, recall, and adherence.”  Patient Education and Counseling, 61 (2006) 173-190, 2005 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
  • Osborne, H. “In Other Words…Can They Understand? Testing Patient Education Materials With Intended Readers,” On Call Magazine, Nov 2001. Available at http://www.healthliteracy.com/article.asp?PageID=3811

Read a transcript of this podcast. 
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Adam Weiss Talks about Podcasting (HLOL #1)

Adam Weiss is a successful educational podcaster and podcast consultant. An expert interviewer and communicator, he aims to show that podcasting is more about story, presentation, and technique than fancy gear and tech toys.

He was the creator and of the popular Current Science & Technology Podcast for the Museum of Science in Boston, which he hosted for more than two years. He has also created the critically acclaimed Boston Behind the Scenes Podcast as well as the newly-launched Puzzle Podcast.

In this Health Literacy Out Loud podcast, Adam Weiss talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • What podcasts are
  • How people can access and download podcasts
  • Why podcasts are an emerging and important tool of communication

More ways to learn:

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 33, 40, 42.

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