Tailored retrieval of health information from the web for facilitating communication and empowerment of elderly people

Biagio Lenzitti, Markus Helfert, Davide Taibi, Marco Alfano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


A patient, nowadays, acquires health information from the Web mainly through a “human-to-machine” communication process with a generic search engine. This, in turn, affects, positively or negatively, his/her empowerment level and the “human-to-human” communication process that occurs between a patient and a healthcare professional such as a doctor. A generic communication process can be modelled by considering its syntactic-technical, semantic-meaning, and pragmatic-effectiveness levels and an efficacious communication occurs when all the communication levels are fully addressed. In the case of retrieval of health information from the Web, although a generic search engine is able to work at the syntactic-technical level, the semantic and pragmatic aspects are left to the user and this can be challenging, especially for elderly people. This work presents a custom search engine, FACILE, that works at the three communication levels and allows to overcome the challenges confronted during the search process. A patient can specify his/her information requirements in a simple way and FACILE will retrieve the “right” amount of Web content in a language that he/she can easily understand. This facilitates the comprehension of the found information and positively affects the empowerment process and communication with healthcare professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICT4AWE 2020 - Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics

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