Wednesday July 18, 2018

Online Health tools with good Communication skills can promote Healthier Lifestyles: Indian-origin Researchers

People who experienced a back-and-forth interaction with an online health risk assessment website were more likely to follow the health behaviours suggested by the tool

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New York, Feb 25, 2017:  Just like real doctors and nurses, online health tools with good but controlled communication skills can promote healthier lifestyles, a team of Indian-origin researchers has said.

However, if their tone is conversational, these tools may lull users into a false sense of comfort, they added.

People who experienced a back-and-forth interaction with an online health risk assessment website were more likely to follow the health behaviours suggested by the tool.

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“This shows that delivering information on health risks through dialogue can help users get engaged with the tool and may positively affect their health. In general, it speaks to the design of interactive delivery of health information that it is not only engaging, but also inspiring,” said S Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications from Pennsylvania State University.

The findings showed that when the online tools used short phrases such as “Mm-hmm” and “Go on” to promote casual and friendly tone, users felt less susceptible to their health risks.

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“The conversational tone may make the users warm and fuzzy. However, if the goal of the interaction is to promote a sense of comfort among individuals, the same conversational tone strategy could work well with the online tool acting like a virtual coach and providing reassurance,” explained Saraswathi Bellur, assistant professor of communication from University of Connecticut.

The researchers, who presented their findings in the journal Human Communication Research, suggested that the display of interconnected questions and answers promotes a feeling of contingency and that leads to better engagement with the site.

“We are seeing a growth in e-medicine,” Sundar said. “People are trying to compensate for this lack of face-to-face time with doctors by using online tools, which are becoming increasingly conversational.”

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The design of these e-health tools need not be highly sophisticated, according to the researchers.

“A simple instant-message-like feature that enables a dialogue between the user and the system is sufficient to evoke rich perceptions of interactivity, which, in turn, could favorably influence health behaviours and attitudes,” said Bellur. “Therein lies the power of interactive health tools.”

The researchers recruited 172 undergraduate students to take part in the study. Participants were assigned to one of six versions of a health risk assessment website. The sites were designed to have either low, medium, or high interactivity with either conversational or no conversational tone. (IANS)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)