Community Health: Digitized and Widgetized

May 5, 2009

Over the last few weeks, AxisPortals has been deeply impressed by the public health community’s embrace of the digital, particularly in the form of widgets, but also in the form of embeddable audio and video public service announcements and press conferences.  

Initial fears of swine flu, and the accompanying gallows humor concerning the “aporkalypse”  rapidly gave way to solid information and education about H1N1 influenze prevention and treatment.

Digitized, widgetized information–prepared by authorities and designed to be portable and shareable–largely accounts for that movement away from hysteria and toward the calm dispensing of useful information. Consider these examples:

Information spreads quickly online.  Indeed, it spreads quickly enough that producing the bit of information that succeeds in becoming viral is every online marketer’s dream.    Often, the most successfully viral information is either sensational or just plain silly,  as was the case with the following picture of a toddler kissing a pig, which flew around the internet at record speed:

Public health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services are wise, indeed, to take advantage of social media and multimedia to promote education and awareness.   

An awareness pandemic?  That’s the one form of pandemic we can all happily embrace.  

AxisPortals Aphorism:  If you want to spread a message fast–and make it portable and engaging–digitize it, widgetize it, and certainly don’t hesitate to Twitter about it, too.


Your Health Online: Widgetized

April 17, 2009

Searching for medical information and community support is one part of supporting your health online.  Now, let’s have a look at another aspect of online health:  the health widget.  Fun, convenient, informative, and potentially motivating, health widgets can easily be embedded in web pages or blogs.  Some can also be downloaded to your smart phone or your computer desktop. Health widgets come in many flavors, including those that focus on weight loss, calorie counting, fitness, pregnancy, exercise, meditation, and health news. Here are a few examples:  


Calorie Counter

Calorie Counter


Yoga Pose of the Day

Yoga Pose of the Day


The CDCs Flu IQ quiz widget.

The CDC's "Flu IQ" quiz widget.

There are health widgets to suit every taste and interest.  Try exploring to find the ones that suit you or your online audience the best.  You might also consider developing a widget of your own.

AxisPortals Aphorism:  Exercise and diet regimens can grow dull, and health tips can seem preachy, but it’s always fun to widgetize.