An internet forum is to be set up to give the general public a greater influence on policy decisions concerning public health issues.
The Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH), an independent government-funded body, will make the web portal live in September.
Initially, 600 regional Patient and Public Involvement forums, comprising local people representing each NHS Trust and Primary Care Trust in England, will have access. It will be open to the general public from December.
CPPIH is hoping that 500,000 citizens will use the site within the next two years, although David Orchard, chief technology officer at CPPIH, admitted that this would be a challenge.
The group is using e-commerce technology from ATG to offer self-service and personalisation capabilities to tailor interactions with the portal according to users' interests, segment, market and history.
The site will also be available in multiple languages and offer access to Braille printing.
"The technology is very much an enabler to allow communication and sharing of knowledge. ATG's Java-based development means that it's very flexible and maintainable," said Orchard.
"That's very important because we want the knowledge management system to be driven by people in the community, and it will change in ways that we can't predict."
The public's appetite for involvement in health issues may be increasing. Research by the Doctor Patient Partnership last year found 63 per cent of people interested in holding their own medical records on a smartcard.
Stephen Coleman, Cisco visiting professor of e-democracy at Oxford University, also backed the move.
"It makes sense to open the NHS to this kind of public interaction. But this will only be taken seriously if there is an inherent response mechanism, ensuring that public messages are related to real policy outcomes," he explained.
"Online discussion, if it is to contribute to democratic policy-making, must strive to be socially inclusive, well moderated and treated seriously by those in authority.
"Without these characteristics the public will sooner or later feel cheated and frustrated."
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago