The redesign of digital health information environments: A necessary and urgent humanization

Maria José Vicentini Jorente, Associate Professor of Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, Marília, SP, Brasil

Researchers from the Research Laboratory in Information Design and Information Retrieval (LADRI), belonging to Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências of São Paulo State University, in Marília, published, in volume 31 of the journal Transinformação, the paper” Collaborative e-Health Environments: the enhanced role of health agents”, resulting from research inserted in the CNPq project “Digital curation of information archiving digital environment to support families with cases of rare pediatric diseases” by the first author.

The paper is the joint analysis of digital health information environments from the perspective of the convergences between Information Science and Information Design. The analysis resulted in the suggestion of recommendations for the redesign of digital health information environments, focusing on emerging microcephaly conditions. Such conditions, as a consequence of the Zika epidemic that has stricken Brazil, urge support for the families of the affected children. Microcephaly is a rare neurological condition in which the child’s head and brain are significantly smaller than those of other children of the same age and sex, causing a series of complex health problems. In this scenario, the main recommendation is that Information Design, an area converging to Information Science, be considered as interdisciplinary area with strategic resources to promote the inclusion of health agents, families and stakeholders as creators of digital environments (KAPLAN, 2001). The proposal reverses the top-down targeting of official e-Health projects typically focused on health care managers, practitioners, and research partners.

Web 2.0 properties that converge for peer-to-peer collaboration and mediation of health agents are described (CHOU et al., 2013). As a result, system redesign will provide places (not spaces) where people can receive information and exchange ideas and experiences on how to cope with such conditions, such as microcephaly. The recommendations for the environment redesign are justified by the real improvement on information communication and access, the search results and the qualification of the people involved in the interactions with the digital environments. The study seeks to contribute to health promotion and education in addition to the creation of applications aimed at sharing information in Web 2.0.


CHOU, W. Y. et al. Web 2.0 for health promotion: Reviewing the current evidence. American Journal of Public Health, v. 103, 1, p. 9-18, 2013. E-ISSN: 1541-0048 [reviewed 19 February 2019]. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.301071. Available from:

KAPLAN, B. Evaluating informatics applications: clinical decision support systems literature review. International Journal of Medical Informatics, v. 64, n. 1, p. 15-37, 2001. ISSN: 1386-5056 [reviewed 19 February 2019]. DOI: 10.1016/S1386-5056(01)00183-6. Avaliable from:

To read the articles, access

JORENTE, M. J. V. et al. Ambientes colaborativos de e-Saúde: o papel ampliado dos agentes de saúde. Transinformação, v. 31, e170059, 2019.  ISSN: 0103-3786 [viewed 18 April 2019].  DOI: 10.1590/2318-0889201931e170059. Available from:

External links

Transinformação – TINF:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Public Domain:


How to cite this post [ISO 690/2010]:

JORENTE, M. J. V. The redesign of digital health information environments: A necessary and urgent humanization [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2019 [viewed ]. Available from:


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