Australian Academy of Science, France-Australia Science Innovation Collaboration (FASIC)

Early Career Fellowships

This project aims to foster advances in search technologies directed to the general public searching the Web for information about their health. About 80% of Australians and 60% of French people rely on “Dr Google” to make health decisions despite strong evidence that this often results in irrelevant and unreliable health information. Incorrect information may increase the severity of health conditions, ultimately increasing the cost of healthcare delivery and delay appropriate care.

This project will develop a theoretical framework and associated data and empirical resources for evaluating information access and search technology solutions aimed at helping the general public make better informed decisions about their health.

Specifically, the project will examine how people interact with health information and search technology in the context of the task of taking health decisions. The project will compile datasets that simulate user needs and interactions when accessing or seeking health information. These datasets will contribute to the evaluation of technologies that facilitate health information access and retrieval (for the general public) and will allow further developments in the way technology products support people in undertaking health decisions. The datasets will be novel in that there are currently no datasets to evaluate information access and information retrieval systems for health information needs that tackle the interactive aspect of these processes. Furthermore, the datasets will allow to investigate information access and retrieval as a holistic process that takes place within a decision-making context (in this case, a health decision) and thus pushes the current boundaries of current and established practices in e.g. search engine evaluation.

Chief Investigator(s): Guido Zuccon (UQ - fellowship done when at QUT)

Administering Organisation: QUT

Value: $4,800 (AUD)

Founding round: 2018