New Channels for Digital Health Research

By Simon Hagens

Underpinning digital health adoption and implementation is a substantial amount of digital health research. At Infoway, we conduct research into the value of digital health tools and services and the resources that help enable them. This work helps raise awareness of policy gaps and informs decision-making.

However, to optimize the impact of digital health research, the right information needs to get into the right hands, at the right time. And so, we’ve been grateful for partnerships like the one we have with JMIR Publications.

With its flagship journal, the Journal of Medical Internet Research, JMIR Publications introduced an innovative model for scholarly publishing: rather than relying on subscription print journals, its publications are open access and available online. Its use of preprint servers also enables researchers to disseminate information quickly and efficiently. Our collaboration in knowledge translation activities like the Infoway e-collection has helped support researchers through the publication process, leading to more contributions to digital health literature.

During a recent podcast discussion with Dr. Gunther Eysenbach, the founder, editor and publisher of JMIR Publications, I was struck once again by JMIR Publications’ innovations, such as their use of alt-metrics. Drawing from social media analytics, alt-metrics provide another lens to assess an article’s impact. Citations tend to keep focus on content’s academic uses; while this usage is important, alt-metrics help us understand how research is impacting broader audiences.

Alongside alt-metrics, we’ve explored new communication channels with JMIR. Tools like visual abstracts, YouTube discussions and podcasts are providing more flexible means of knowledge sharing, enabling audiences to access information in the form that is best suited for them. In addition to customizing that information’s form, we’re also seeing significant movement in customizing content. Initiatives like our Insights research website, which help audiences find the specific the data they most need.

Through these additional communication channels, we can reach more audiences, and ensure that they can access the information they need, when they need it. You can get started by browsing the Infoway e-collection at JMIR Publications and listening to our full discussion about open access digital health research on the Digital Health InfoCast.

Have a comment about this post? We’d love to hear from you.

About the author
Simon Hagens

Simon Hagens

Simon Hagens leads performance analytics at Canada Health Infoway, informing Infoway and our partners with the evidence to deliver and optimize digital health for the benefit of Canadians and our health system.