Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Preferences for Health Information Technologies Among US Adults: Analysis of the Health Information National Trends Survey. J Med Internet Res 2018 10 18;20(10):e277



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85055072369   24 Citations


BACKGROUND: Emerging health technologies are increasingly being used in health care for communication, data collection, patient monitoring, education, and facilitating adherence to chronic disease management. However, there is a lack of studies on differences in the preference for using information exchange technologies between patients with chronic and nonchronic diseases and factors affecting these differences.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper is to understand the preferences and use of information technology for information exchange among a nationally representative sample of adults with and without 3 chronic disease conditions (ie, cardiovascular disease [CVD], diabetes, and hypertension) and to assess whether these preferences differ according to varying demographic variables.

METHODS: We utilized data from the 2012 and 2014 iteration of the Health Information National Trends Survey (N=7307). We used multiple logistic regressions, adjusting for relevant demographic covariates, to identify the independent factors associated with lower odds of using health information technology (HIT), thus, identifying targets for awareness. Analyses were weighted for the US population and adjusted for the sociodemographic variables of age, gender, race, and US census region.

RESULTS: Of 7307 participants, 3529 reported CVD, diabetes, or hypertension. In the unadjusted models, individuals with diabetes, CVD, or hypertension were more likely to report using email to exchange medical information with their provider and less likely to not use any of the technology in health information exchange, as well as more likely to say it was not important for them to access personal medical information electronically. In the unadjusted model, additional significant odds ratio (OR) values were observed. However, after adjustment, most relationships regarding the use and interest in exchanging information with the provider were no longer significant. In the adjusted model, individuals with CVD, diabetes, or hypertension were more likely to access Web-based personal health information through a website or app. Furthermore, we assessed adjusted ORs for demographic variables. Those aged >65 years and Hispanic people were more likely to report no use of email to exchange medical information with their provider. Minorities (Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, and Asian people) were less likely to indicate they had no interest in exchanging general health tips with a provider electronically.

CONCLUSIONS: The analysis did not show any significant association among those with comorbidities and their proclivity toward health information, possibly implying that HIT-related interventions, particularly design of information technologies, should focus more on demographic factors, including race, age, and region, than on comorbidities or chronic disease status to increase the likelihood of use. Future research is needed to understand and explore more patient-friendly use and design of information technologies, which can be utilized by diverse age, race, and education or health literacy groups efficiently to further bridge the patient-provider communication gap.

Author List

Asan O, Cooper Ii F, Nagavally S, Walker RJ, Williams JS, Ozieh MN, Egede LE


Leonard E. Egede MD Center Director, Chief, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Mukoso Nwamaka Ozieh MD Assistant Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Rebekah Walker PhD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Joni Williams MD, MPH Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Chronic Disease
Medical Informatics
Middle Aged
Surveys and Questionnaires
United States
Young Adult