Electronic Health (eHealth) Solutions for Low Back Pain—The Present and The Future


Dr. Eugene Wai 1 Dr. Pavel Andreev2 Alexander Chung3 Greg McIntosh, MSc4 Dr. Hamilton Hall, MD, FRCSC,5

1 is an associate professor in the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Ottawa and is cross- appointed to the School of Epidemiology and Public Health. He is head of the University's Adult Spinal Surgery Program and is the medical lead for the region's ISAEC program. His research interests involve regional and systems-based strategies to improve physical activity in back pain.
2is an associate professor at the Telfer School of Management. His doctoral studies centered on the impact of information and communication technologies on activities such as telemedicine and e-learning. His current research program is developing methodologies that enhance healthcare practitioners care delivery.
3 is a PhD candidate at the Telfer School of Management. His research focuses on the use of behaviour change theories to anchor the design of digital technologies. Specifically, he is interested in designing systems to facilitate habit formation for users.4 completed his Masters in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine. He is currently the Director of Research Operations for the Canadian Spine Outcomes and Research Network.5is a Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. He is the Medical Director, CBI Health Group and Executive Director of the Canadian Spine Society in Toronto, Ontario.


Abstract:Electronic Health (eHealth) technologies for back pain care, including websites and mobile apps, are rapidly growing. Unfortunately, the clear majority are unregulated and not considered credible. Given this growth, clinicians require the tools to help their patients navigate through the "wild west" of options towards more trustworthy platforms. Artificial Intelligence and digital technologies anchored in behaviour change theories have the potential to further transform these eHealth platforms.
Key Words: Electronic Health (eHealth) technologies, back pain care, websites, mobile apps, artificial intelligence.

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The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) has published a summary for users entitled "Can you trust Dr. Google," and it recommends that users look at the Author, Date (current), Objectivity, Purpose, Transparency and Usability.
Clinicians should become familiar with several credible eHealth resources to recommend to patients when assisting with their self-management of back pain.
Electronic Health platforms have the potential to engage patients in the self-management of their back pain.
Most available eHealth options for back pain are considered unreliable and not credible; however, several government and professional societies are beginning to publish reliable and useful content for patients.
Standardized tools and principles exist for the appraisal of credible eHealth resources.
Artificial Intelligence and anchoring mobile health solutions in behaviour change theories may further improve eHealth platforms.
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