Four Health Websites

731 words | 3 page(s)

As the Internet has gained prominence in the last 20 years or so, there is more information available to read. Many health care organizations have set up their own web sites, in order to inform readers about the latest news, provide information about their disease, and to raise money. This paper will look at four different health organization web sites.

The American Heart Association’s site features a rolling carousel of main stories, including one man’s story of his quadruple bypass, a discussion over sugary drinks, guidelines on valvular heart disease and a link to the AHA CEO’s blog from the Huffington Post (American Heart Association). They also give a list of warning signs for heart attacks and strokes, a link to information to enroll in health insurance and a list of other stories.

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This web site is very helpful, not only to inform about heart disease and other disorders, but it also gives the reader an interactive way to learn. With videos and a library, readers can discover more about heart disease, and can make their own decisions on their lifestyles and changes they want to make. The personal stories, about the quadruple bypass man, and students learning CPR after the teacher saved a life, lend a personal touch. There is also a list of current news in the upper right-hand corner, with a Twitter feed below it for more information.

The National Stroke Association’s site also is similar, although their main story carousel focuses more on fundraising. The Advocacy Stroke Network and a five borough bike tour in New York City are two of the pages on the carousel, along with a quiz on strokes with Howie Mandel in which $1 is donated for everyone who takes it (National Stroke Association). It also promotes its “Stroke Magazine” and other activities. There is a page called “Faces of Stroke”, which tells personal stories, but it is on the bottom half of the website, and unlike the AHA, isn’t featured on the carousel. Also, the current news releases are at the bottom of the website.

I found the site to be concentrating more on fundraising, and some information, than having personal stories, which I feel, is what attracts the reader the best. Readers can put themselves in their place, and use their stories for both information and inspiration. One helpful site at the top is a list of various special groups, such as women, kids and African-Americans, and how they are at particular risks for strokes.

The National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute’s site concentrates more on information, rather than fundraising or personal stories. It reflects how it is a reference point for a variety of diseases and afflictions, unlike the other two sites, which focus on their narrow topics. The Institute’s site mostly provides links to other sites and press releases, and updates on various research, including one story on insights to the Bubble Boy Disease (National Institute of Health).

It is a site that I found not very colorful, with the only pictures in the small carousel, and pretty dry. It concentrates more upon being the web site of record than trying to give the reader a comfortable feeling. I felt like I was reading it in a sterile doctor’s office, instead of in a warm environment, like the other two sites.

Finally, there was the American Diabetes Association’s site. Unlike the others, which have a rotating carousel, this site had one large photo package on top, in which clicks could switch the photos around and lead to more links. There were also a lot of tips, especially with diet, provided, and at the bottom was a vast array of links to other pages of information. While fundraising is a part of the page, it is not the main part. Instead, the site seems to want to focus on helping people who already have the disease.

The photos give the page a warm touch, and can help the reader feel comfortable when they are facing a great challenge with their health. Nobody likes getting sick, or suffering from a disease. However, a personal touch can help make the disease not seem as threatening. While there aren’t any personal stories on this page, at least, the reader can feel reassured knowing that they are not the only ones out there with the disease.

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