MUSING – Doctor, The Patient Will See You Now…
Andrew Schorr’s recent book, The Web-Savvy Patient: An Insider’s Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis, chronicles the authors personal journey through a devastating diagnosis of cancer and a self directed crusade for a cure. Two powerful forces have erupted in healthcare during the last ten years, and they are changing the face of healthcare forever.
As the first wave of boomers is hitting retirement age, accompanied with their attendant health needs, these motivated consumers are searching for very personal answers. As the old saying goes, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and there is nothing more necessary to most people than their health – maybe even survival – or the well being of their loved ones. The accelerated pace of demands on an already over-taxed healthcare system, has created the fertile ground for revolutionary change.
Of course, the second game changer in healthcare is the Internet. Information that was once privy to the sacred few ordained ministers of medicine, is now readily available to the masses. As Schorr writes, this changes everything. However, something far more powerful is at play. When we combine an almost infinite amount of information of health and medicine on the Internet with an exponentially increasing number of highly motivated consumers, the result is an explosion of radical and effective personal healthcare discoveries.
Healthcare, at its core, is highly personal. The wisdom of crowds synthesizing with the vast universe of health information via the Internet has created a powerful new healthcare participant. Doctor, the patient will see you now.