American International Journal of Social Science

ISSN 2325-4149(Print), ISSN 2325-4165(Online) DIO: 10.30845/aijss

From The Printing Press to Telemedicine: Communication Technology and Its Impact on Health
Michael McGee, Ph.D; Hardaye Ramsaroop-Hansen, Ed.D.

Innovations in communication technologies have had a profound impact on health. Over the decades, new communication tools have sometimes prompted fears that they will produce sociological and psychological distress, and have a negative impact on various aspects of health. Critics claim that innovation may disrupt the social order and degrade the health of communities due to anxiety. On the other hand, advocates of new technologies have pointed out that innovation supports progress in society, saves time and money, and improves health. This paper reviews responses to new communication technologies over the centuries, and how resistance to them, or cultural lag, has sometimes delayed their impact on health. As evidence accumulates that the benefits of a new technology outweigh the harms, innovations in health communication become part of standard practice. To ensure that emerging communication technologies provide the most benefit to the most people we recommend that purveyors of health information on any channel or platform be held accountable to standards that are ethical, scientific, and evidence-based.

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