As we anticipate the next big thing in the use of new media and emerging technologies to support HIV/AIDS and other health care efforts, weve asked experts and thought leaders across the Federal and private sectors to predict the trends to watch in 2013. Heres what we heard them say.
- Together we will declare (and encourage) change:
As called for in the New Media Declaration, more and more individuals and organizations will declare that new media and emerging technologies are critical in helping them to connect, create, listen, learn, and engage, and will ask their stakeholders and/or clients for ideas on how new media and emerging technologies may help extend the reach of their HIV/AIDS program
- Mobile apps and responsive design: The Digital Government Strategy states that Federal agencies should provide content to the American people and an increasingly mobile workforce "anytime, anywhere, on any device." In 2012, we saw an increase in responsive design (including in our own website and blog) as well as an increase in the development of smartphone apps. In 2013, agencies and organizations will continue to grow in their understanding of apps and responsive design.
- Apps to track health: In 2013, people will increase their connection to their health through the use of mobile apps such as the iStayHealthy app for people living with HIV which allows users to track medications, set reminders, and chart the effects of HIV treatment on their health.
- Social gaming and wearable devices: While social gaming, smartphones, and wearable devices (miniature electronic devices worn on the users wrist or other parts of the body) have been around for years, these devices and health information will be increasingly tied into social networks, and more people will compete to see who can walk the most steps, drop the most pounds, or otherwise meet their health goals.
- A picture (and an infographic) will be worth a thousand words: In 2012, there was an astounding growth in the use of photo-sharing and social networking tools such as Instagram and Pinterest. In 2013, agencies and organizations will increasingly put a face to their messages by sharing photos and images. They will also continue to explore infographics to share information.
- Information is personal: As virtual workspaces become just as crowded as physical spaces, it is critical to ensure that our communication efforts are targeted and easily accessible to the populations we are trying to reach.
- Data is king (or queen): In 2013 we will see individuals, agencies, organizations, and companies increasingly using data to drive strategy and make decisions, both on personal and organizational levels.
Thanks to Prudence Goforth, Web Communications and New Media Director at Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Venton Jones, Communications and Education Manager at the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition, Oriol Gutierrez, Editor-in-Chief, POZ, Miguel Gomez, Director, AIDS.gov and others who shared their thoughts to help us to develop this post.
From everyone at AIDS.gov, we wish you a very happy New Year! Please tell us your ideas for things to watch for in 2013!
Miguel Gomez is the director of AIDS.gov and senior communications advisor in the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.