Health Websites

Medicine 2.0 Conference at Stanford University in Palo Alto , California
September 16th through 18th, 2011
I attended this conference which addressed the importance of technology in medicine and how the social network will affect the practice of medicine. Many of the presentations were about specific websites they had designed and I thought I would share some of the more interesting information presented. Many of the presenters were Stanford graduates who had their businesses in “ Silicon Valley .” About half of the presenters were from countries all over the world who had published their data in the “Journal of Medical Internet Research.”  Articles were peer-reviewed and the top choices were invited to present at this conference.

This website was developed by Amy Tenderich. It has a lot of patient’s stories about their issues with diabetes. It provides emotional support and is a source of information. They also can act as an advocate and help the patient navigate the health care system. The “networked patient” is a happier patient.

This website was developed by Paul Wicks, PhD. It allows patients to put in their diagnosis and connect with other patients who have the same diagnosis. Patients can also search for different treatments whether prescription or nonprescription. They can see what percentages of different treatments are used as well as see what side effects other patients have had. Patient’s can view the latest research pertaining to their illness.

This is a fascinating website which allows patients to see what treatments have worked best for their particular condition. An example is the treatment of anxiety. 6100 patients rated 72 treatments for anxiety. Treatments included prescription and non-prescription medications, massage and even yoga. Interestingly, exercise was the most popular as well as the most effective treatment.

Jay Parkinson is the physician who created this website which also is an electronic health record. He was introduced as the “doctor of the future.” Patients are able to make their own appointments online. The interesting thing is many of the appointments are done over the Internet with video. Physicians can sign up online to use his EMR.

This website is written by a pediatrician named Wendy Sue Swanson. It is a great resource for patients. She is a very bright lady who seems to really research recommendations before she makes them. Right now she has an article about the importance of getting flu shots with links to the CDC website. She says she started the website because she got tired of saying the same thing over and over again. She is connected to Seattle ‘s Children’s Hospital.

Ron Gutman started this website and it allows physicians to sign up to answer questions which patients ask. Patients in your area will see your answers and it can promote your practice. In his talk he said that 80% of patients go to the Internet before seeing their physician. I believe even in Tallahassee this may be correct. It seems like everyone has been on the Internet. Surveys indicate patients feel is not helpful 48% of the time. There is too much information and there is a lack of trust. 75% of patients still view their doctor as their primary source of information.

This is considered one of the premiere websites for medical information. Lee Aase, the director of the Center for Social Media at Mayo Clinic made a very interesting presentation. He feels social Media is becoming more and more important in the decisions patients make about their health care.

Google flu trends

Vikron Sahai from google made a presentation demonstrating how the searches people make can actually predict a flu outbreak before the patient even go to the doctor’s office. They have charts showing previous years as well as 2011. Miami has a little activity now. They also have google dengue trends.

This website has up-to-date information on outbreaks throughout the entire world. It could be useful to you or your patients when traveling.

The developer of this website is extraordinarily enthusiastic about his product. It is a computer about the size of a pedometer. It can distinguish between walking, running and climbing steps. It records all of your activity and at the same time every step taken counts as a donation to charity at no cost to the user. It also has a game similar to Farmville but you create your own enchanted island powered by your steps.

This website allows patients to fill out questionnaires and find out the risk for prostate cancer, breast cancer, heart disease etc. It also tells patients how to modify risk factors and reduce their chances of developing these illnesses.

The information provided above is offered as a community service about health-care issues and is not a substitute for individual consultation. Advice on individual problems should be obtained from your personal physician. This information is based on research by the author and represents his interpretation of the literature.

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