Technology Will Democratize Medicine

Sun, 03/25/2012 - 11:57am
Lawrence Hofmann, M.D.

Patients are more empowered with their medical decisions, more than ever.  With the Internet, they are able to research their conditions and can sometimes diagnose their conditions and treatment without having to step in the office.  “Dr. Mom” can find useful information on treating their infant’s cold at 2 am.

However, when there are serious chronic conditions, patients want an expert.  Patients can get information on the disease – the government, research hospital institutions, and non-profits provide a plethora of useful information about a given disease.  But, where do patients get the best possible care?

Interestingly, despite the wealth of knowledge on the Internet, when it comes to finding a good doctor, it’s generally the old-fashioned word of mouth among friends and neighbors.  But, does Aunt Sally really know who the best pediatric urologist is?  Does Aunt Sally know the doctor’s medical training; does she know the doctor’s research focus; does she know if the doctor is well-respected and well-regarded in the medical field; does she know if the doctor is certified in his or her subspecialty; does she know the volume of procedures the doctor has done (since volume is often associated with proficiency)?

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