Health, healthcare, well-being
Communicating prevention, treating lifestyles
Healthcare: a point of convergence between society, economy, and culture
One of the CfGC’s main research activities is that of bringing out the immense potential generated by communication strategies that strengthen the convergence and interests of apparently very distant social actors and sectors. Healthcare is precisely one of the areas that – perhaps more than any other – can be regarded as an environment of aggregation, dialogue, and comparison between different sectors and knowledge.
Indeed, when we talk about the culture of health and organization of health services, we face complex problems: the medical, scientific and health field is a strategic research area where the development of innovation concerns the entire socio-economic system, from nutrition to lifestyle, from cultural heritage to agriculture, from safety at work to prevention.
Communicate health through authoritative content
In the field of health, the CfGC’s research addresses two primary sorts of communication: healthcare communication, which is the communication produced by agencies and businesses appointed to safeguard health (those offering various services, for example professional and emergency services, etc.), and communication for health, or those areas that deal with socio-economic and cultural factors (such as media “consumption”) that are decisive for lifestyles and for health.
In fact, the CfGC’s research projects are oriented toward communication not only as a means to safeguard health through timely and correct information about health services or lifestyles (health communication), but also as a phenomenal tool for planning, developing, and monitoring the web of connections among areas critical for achieving and maintaining a healthy society (communication for health).
To achieve our goals, it is necessary to initiate synergistic relationships between different stakeholders (from policy-makers to doctors, from health operators to researchers, patients and citizens) and to rethink the centrality of information as a way to favor the development of scientific contents able to improve citizens’ quality of life.
Communication, in this sense, becomes the tool to enhance the relationship between the world of science and society, to counter the phenomenon of poor information that spreads with the pervasive use of new media.
Legitimize questions for a new relationship between citizens, the healthcare system, well-being, and scientific research
Among CfGC research activities, areas linked to healthcare, health, and wellbeing represent a system of inalienable resources that the community, as a whole, has the right to access (in terms of equal rights and opportunities). The right to health, in fact, can be achieved above all by promoting communication between citizens and health services and between citizens and scientific research.
In this same perspective, communication campaigns aiming to persuade citizens are not enough – a radical change is needed. Applying the generative paradigm of communication, the CfGC considers every individual as a citizen with doubts, problems and fears, not passive users needing to be convinced.
In this sense, the ‘health system’ becomes a communication environment for experimentation with tools and techniques capable of
- bringing together different interests and knowledge;
- activating surveys to analyze citizens’ knowledge and awareness of issues related to health;
- analyzing citizens’ risk perception for correct prevention of those behaviors that can harm health.
Media noise seriously harms health
The research aims to investigate how media noise and bad information, that currently find their maximum expression within the Net, produce disorientation in those who get in contact with the world of health.
The ambiguous power of the imagery
The aim of the research is to investigate the deep confusion about what is meant by plant protection products today and, consequently, the impact of the use of these substances on the health of man and the environment.
The research aims to provide a response to a clear and documented need for systemic innovation at European level which, according to the generative paradigm, can only develop at all stages of design.
The CfGC’s research activities in the area of health, healthcare, and well-being have their roots in elements of knowledge that emerged from the projects conducted and implemented by the Centro Ricerche e Applicazione dell’Informatica all’Analisi dei Testi (Center for Research and Application of Computer Science to Text Analysis – CRAIAT) and the Communication Strategies Lab (CSL).
One of the first initiatives dates back to 1999 when the CRAIAT carried out the Viaggio nella prevenzione (Travel in prevention) project in collaboration with the Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro i tumori (Italian League for the Fight Against Cancer). The project focused on creating a communication campaign aimed at highlighting the risks run by young people who developed, or were developing, an addiction to smoking and incorrect eating habits.
A few years later, in 2007, the CSL implemented the Careggi Comunica project, in collaboration with the Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Careggi (Careggi University Hospital Agency – AOUC) with the aim of studying communication effectiveness of the Careggi system towards external stakeholders (patients, their families and all the stakeholders of AOUC).
Later, in 2013, Luca Toschi came up with the idea of Digital Awards, promoted by the magazine Aboutpharma of the HPS (Health Publishing and Services Srl) publishing group. The award – 2019 will see the sixth edition – was created with the aim of identifying the most innovative communication projects able to have a profound effect on the quality of patients’ lives, on the daily practice of all health professionals, and on the strategic decisions of healthcare planning managers.