Dr Lodewijk Bos set up the ICMCC in 2005 to discuss and mange health information and knowledge in a philosophical way and the ICMCC discussed these issues at Westminster University in 2008.
As I remember we decided that information is only information to a system that can receive information - sound, colour, movement, vibration. cold, etc. through chemical or electromagnetic mechanisms. Knowledge and understanding require interpretation and contextualization.
So for example, red is an electromagnetic wave of frequency of 780 - 622 nanometre. Many life systems developed information systems that could process red light "information".
Knowledge is the "knowing" that the colour red exists and/or that something is "red".
Understanding is a more complex process of applying two or more sets of knowledge to interpret or act on information.
I see the top traffic light glowing. It is red - information.
The red light is on a traffic light - information
To cross a red light in a vehicle will break the law - knowledge.
Other cars go across the lights when my light is on red - I, may have an accident, may hurt myself, may hurt someone else, may damage my car, may reduce my bank balance, may lose my driving licence or job, if I go through when the traffic light is red - understanding.
As a GP with 4-10 minute appointments available on average to each of my 2000 patients, information systems that increase patients' knowledge, understanding and "agency" were very desirable.
Agency is affected by patients' social and personal culture - values, assumptions, norms and artefacts. Advertising and profit seeking companies seek to inform people to make them want what they can sell to them, Doctors try to inform people to improve their health. Governments tend to inform people (or legislate) to do what they and society need?
The medium is technology, the media are the people and messages that use the media and as we have seen scientists and government are late adopters of the medium?
So the top traffic light is red.
HIFA profile: Richard Fitton is a retired family doctor - GP.
Professional interests: Health literacy, patient partnership of trust and implementation of healthcare with professionals, family and public involvement in the prevention of modern lifestyle diseases, patients using access to professional records to overcome confidentiality barriers to care, patients as part of the policing of the use of their patient data
Email address: richardpeterfitton7 AT gmail.com