Yes, the internet is a public health issue. And thinking about it, the researcher from the Sergio Arouca National School of Public Health (Ensp/Fiocruz) and general coordinator of the Internet, Health and Society Laboratory (Laiss), André Pereira Neto, discusses this subject in a book called The Internet and Health in Brazil: Challenges and Trends, recently launched in the United States, in partnership with editor-in-chief Matthew B. Flynn at the invitation of Springer, one of the largest publishers in the US.
The publication, which began to come together in 2016, discusses the themes and problems in the interface between the internet and health, addressing specific Brazilian issues. "We are living an unique moment in the history of global communications, because we have never had as much information as we do today. Pierre Levy, in his book Cyberculture, says that we are experiencing a flood of information”, says the researcher, who regrets the fact that many intellectuals in Brazil have not yet realized the role that new information and communication technologies play in health.
The researcher, in the report, also points out, good and bad consequences of the internet in health. "The good consequence is the expert patient, the knowledgeable patient, empowered, since they arrive at the appointment well-informed, knowing, sometimes, more than the doctor. A bad consequence is cyberbullying, the risks of sexual activities with children, violence through the internet, as well as fake news, in which people share something untruthful, and as it is replicated, little by little, it becomes true”.
Divided into four parts and with 23 chapters, The Internet and Health in Brazil: Challenges and Trends addresses from the arrival and development of the Internet in Brazil to its relationship with health, revealing the public, challenges and practical measures in that area.
In addition to Pereira Neto and Flynn, other researchers from several institutions, including Ensp/Fiocruz took part in the book. By the time the article was published, the book was already downloaded more than 2,700 times and was accessible on the website of the US publisher. In Brazil, it is expected to be launched this year.