Janet Reis is a Professor and interim head for the Department of Community Health at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her work with public health entities such as the Chicago Department of Health on health education and information projects has led to her interest in development of computer based interventions. Examples of such products she has helped develop include interactive programs on mammography and self breast exam, promotion of condom use, and an alcohol harm reduction program for young adults. Currently she is working with a clinical and commercial software development team on a prototype computer based care giving training program for prostate patients and family members.
This presentation describes production and distribution milestones for an interactive multimedia alcohol harm reduction software program produced by a university and commercial team. The software design incorporates principles of behavioral change theory on the issue of alcohol consumption for young adults. The commercial partners brought professional videography, script writing, graphic interface design and marketing strategies to the production process. Lessons learned include the importance of market segmentation of campus and other administrative decision makers for initial product distribution and dissemination of short term evaluation results. The software is now in use on over 1000 higher education campuses and parts of the U.S. military. The future of this type of computer based educational intervention is considered in light of recent e-health development experiences, and opportunities available through the U.S. Government's Small Business Innovation Research program.