Sunday, April 21, 2013

From the Georgetown Advocate- The Tech Savvy Patient A Real Example

The Tech Savvy Patient A Real Example
The Georgetown Advocate
Webster Russell

Even in this era of rapidly changing personal technology, healthcare's customer, us, are ill informed and therefore being led to places we may not want to go. We have been led to believe that our health and the processes that impact it are just to complex for us to understand, in English we are not smart enough. Technology and the Internet has and will change all that.

Allow me to stumble back into the weeds for a moment. Neurophysiologically, intelligence is a function of neural connectivity. Placing this in non human terms, the internet is the evolving nervous system of civilization. To that end, if you are not at least minimally computer literate, you are rapidly becoming obsolete. In that sense, the ultimate power you as an individual have over any thing in the realm of your life is knowledge, and that knowledge base changes not by the day but by the minute. Knowledge is power, power is choice, and choice takes you from being a follower to being your life's leader.

Believe it or not, this segways into the earlier question, how did a priest, the Internet, and Alzheimer's create a tech savvy patient?

If you think about healthcare from an individual's stand point, you’re putting your or a loved ones life into the hands of a physician. His or her knowledge will form the basis of what you should do to change the outcome of a disease or ailment and that requires a lot of trust. To build that trust, you need to seek additional information so you can ask better questions, and therefore make better decisions. My contention is that the expansion of information via the internet combined with computer literacy may well lead to new “experts” in healthcare and other fields.
A case in point revolves around an Episcopal priest, his wife, and their physician. As fate would have it, the clergyman’s wife was diagnosed with a chronically debilitating disease, Alzheimer's. From the day of her diagnosis, using the internet, this man started an in depth investigation of his wife’s disease and the therapies used, both present and future. Within six months, he became the titular expert in the therapeutics of his wife’s disease. Up until the day he died he continued to assist her physicians by providing them with new and proposed treatment methodologies, thereby being an active participant in his wife's care. Two points to note. When this story started, in 1996, home wifi would not be commercially available for three more years. Secondly and as importantly the gentleman in question was in his mid 70s when her diagnosis was made.

Did his efforts help his wife? Let me repeat myself, Knowledge is power, power is choice, and choice takes you from being a follower to being your life's leader, and a follower he wasn't.

- Posted using from my iPad HD

Location:Georgetown TX,United States

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