eHealth can be used for multiple purposes: to support self-management behaviour, to educate, to share personal information, to influence attitudes, or to facilitate communication between people. But regardless of its main goal, all eHealth technologies have in common that they are always used by people. These people expect technology to support them in doing the right thing, show understanding, giving them information that is relevant for themselves, rewarding their behaviour, and being easy and intuitive to use. People often have to be supported in changing their behaviour and attitudes, and technology has the potential to do this.
Persuasive technology is technology aimed to influence behaviour and attitudes. This refers to behaviour and attitudes that contribute to an improved health and wellbeing, but also to behaviour and attitudes related to (the use of) the technology. Persuasive technology can have a positive influence on using the technology in the intended way and on the long term; it has the potential to improve adherence (Kelders, Kok, Ossebaard, & Van Gemert-Pijnen, 2012). If a technology is used in the right way, it is more likely to reach its health-related goals. In other words: persuasive technology supports people in improving their health and wellbeing by using the system in the intended way.