Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Democratization of Health Care and The Future of Medicine

There are several medical bloggers I follow faithfully using their RSS feeds.  ScienceRoll, written by Berci Mesko M.D. who considers himself an expert on the future of medicine, or at least has a comprehension of what has and what will happen with technology in medicine. It is an excellent source and stimulates my appetite for what is coming to us all.

In addition to technological advances, providers and patients alike  have advanced, some due to  technology, but also a new attitude for both parties. Some of it is fueled by the internet.  As the internet content  has evolved it eases the physician workload by the ability to outsource some education, and training to the patient and/or their family. The time saving is unmeasurable, and must be included in the increased efficiency of physicians, spending less time in order to see more patients with decreasing reimbursement. It is especially helpful for chronic medical conditions where patients and fa   v milies can read assigned article by their physicians.

Many patients and families have formed advocacy groups and social media communities focused on specific ailments, such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and other maladies that are less prevalent. These sites are often more beneficial to patients than seeing their physician once they are diagnosed. Patients often provide information amongst themselves that physicians do not address due to time constraints, or just plain ignorance in terms of daily living.  A patient or family can Google the disease, or search on  Facebook and/or Google + for Crohn's Disease (example) and quickly develop a contact with a fellow patient who may have more experience due to age, and/or family history.

In a recent post on Health Train Express  about where patients go on the internet to find health care information there are many different credible sources.

Patient centered medicine and patients such as ePatientDave harmonize with provider to improve patient care. Dave deBronkhart has his own story of medical misadventures. He tells a tale of poor communications leading to anxiety and apprehension, in addition to a possibly fatal illness.

Then there is Regina Holliday whose Medical Advocacy Blog and the Walking Gallery present an artist's view of health care. She is often in the back of the room painting what she sees at the medical conference

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