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Kara Burns and Sven Tuzovic

The term ‘engagement’ is increasingly used in healthcare and medical practice and has become a key priority for policy makers. While patient engagement has received increasing attention in the healthcare literature, there is little consensus on what engagement is, what leads to a patient being perceived as engaged or disengaged, or how engagement occurs. Indeed, an ontological framework for describing and measuring patient engagement is still absent in extant literature. Furthermore, research has not addressed the expanding role of the self-monitoring patient or viewed the data from the perspective of the consumer. In this context “medical self-photography” has emerged as a patient resource that can promote co-creation and patient engagement. By generating medical data, patients are increasingly expanding their role, supporting medical treatment in the service network. This chapter proposes a theoretical model of “health consumer engagement” based on the involvement and activation of patients and their peer network to collect and provide medical photos and health data within the service ecosystem. Results of two qualitative studies demonstrate that medical self-photography can engage and empower patients, offering health providers an opportunity to co-create the delivery of healthcare services with consumers improving credence service satisfaction and perceptions of reliability.