Before the Internet, patients were too often kept in the dark when it came to monitoring their health. Doctors and hospitals relied on tried-and-true techniques for surgery and diagnosis.
Recently, however, technology has helped both the medical field and patients with more ready information for a healthy lifestyle.
Speaking to a health professional can be an intimidating act. Patients want to convey that they are leading a healthy lifestyle. However, information about nutrition, smoking, and drinking is necessary to diagnose a patient properly.
When patients chat or email directly with their caregiver, they tend to be more honest about poor lifestyle choices. A doctor can use that information to alter the patient’s habits and address the medical issues, from diabetes to high blood pressure.
The medical industry is seeing more people sharing and communicating because of online resources.
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Reputable online information
With the growth of the Internet, patients can find a lot of health information from reputable sources. Doctors who have been practicing for decades are writing articles about particular ailments to help their patients.
If anyone feels concerned about a growth or unusual medical symptom, he or she can anonymously sift for the information that might clarify the issue. Some conditions may respond to home-care treatments while others pose more serious risks that require a doctor’s attention.
Patients with correct information can make an appointment with their doctor, when necessary.
Common procedures simplified
Doctors are taking advantage of technology too. Procedures that used to involve extensive hospital stays now qualify as out-patient procedures that take only a few hours.
For example, gallbladder surgery now employs small cameras to find and remove the organ. In the past, patients had to endure large incisions with lengthy recovery times. Both hospitals and patients save money and the latter enjoy reduced post-operative side effects, such as bruising and swelling.
A view inside the body is often crucial for an accurate diagnosis. Doctors used to wait through a film developing process for analog X-rays to determine if a candidate required surgery. Now, digital X-rays appear on the doctor’s computer screen in seconds. Doctors can determine if bones are broken or teeth have cavities with the click of a mouse.
There are even thermometers that give instant readings for feverish patients. Instead of waiting for an ear thermometer, doctors use a forehead model. They simply slide it across the forehead, which provides an accurate temperature every time.
Access to patient records
When patients can see their records, they have clearer understanding of their health and ailments. Online resources enable doctors to provide patient records through a secure login site.
There’s no need to request a photocopy of patient records anymore. Patients log in to their doctor’s site and study any document they wish. If a child has diabetes, for example, parents can look up previous appointment information and doctor suggestions.
Technology continues to help the medical community with simplified surgeries and streamlined information flow. Open communication with the doctor is the good way to ensure a long and healthy life.