Media in Medicine: More Than Mending The Broken

The use of media in medicine is a tool. It is a resource that enhances how health professionals communicate with each other thereby facilitating the rate of transmit of information and/or personal thoughts on published facts or theories involving developments in medicine. It is an open line that could, but not be limited to, service patients’ immediate concerns not necessarily warranting a trip to the emergency room. Therefore, the use of media in medicine is an addition to the practice of medicine rather than a replacement, nor is it an electronic substitute for an actual physician.

While many are still “offline” or have limited “online” connectivity between both the physician and patient populations, some have started swinging in this direction. I personally think this is the future we can look into. Not to be off touch. But to be more in touch. And how do we do this? Right, media! Just like when the telephone was invented, it revolutionized communication at that time. People can keep in touch even if they are far from each other. I pray I am not taking this theory too far by saying perhaps that this new media, including social media, is the next hurrah, ergo, possibly the next telephone. Either way, it surely is taking us to the next level more than we ever care to notice but would probably like to be.

Web 2.0 unlocked a seamless flow of possibilities. It defined openness not only in communicating information but also openness among individuals. Doctors who are in this loop get to explore and share not only information but express themselves in their personal spaces responsibly—their chat with other doctors, their take on some issues, for example. Patients can form a group in social networking sites for their particular concern. So can doctors. Not that we cannot do this outside of the web and not that networking is not being done either, but as an addition to what we can form offline, we can form online in a more time-efficient manner—reaching more numbers in less time. Again, an addition, not as a replacement with emphasis on the numbers not relating to more number of patients we are aiming for but in terms of the time leap it is capable of. And as we have talked about here many times over, Medicine 2.0 is communicating medicine along the veins of Web 2.0, as the medium and development that makes all these possible.

Dr. Jay Parkinson gets this. He practices in New York City. A romantic place for many but not exempt from the annoying issues of health care. He shares his stuff here. Here is his online appointment form.

I am a new kind of physician.

I mix the service of an old-time, small time doctor with the latest technology to keep you and your bank account healthy.


His “new” method is sometimes criticized.

To be fair, some people will indeed benefit from online consultations–but they are not the people who most desperately need the attention of reformers. Consider the work of Jay Parkinson, who is on the forefront of the web-based health care movement. Working entirely through IM and video-chat, Parkinson’s patients are primarily the uninsured—not the systemically impoverished and socioeconomically isolated uninsured, but rather the self-selecting uninsured: the freelance artists in Brooklyn, the 18-40 aspiring bohemian crowd, the hipsters.

There is a huge part of me that thinks it is a revolutionary move. And it is worth its place. It could be a start of something better. It could be a solution to an ever growing issue of not having a satisfactory health care coverage versus affordable cost. It could be a base to evolve into a better, more effectual patient-doctor relationship. It could also be argued otherwise, yes. Although discussing it is a good thing as it lets us explore the possibilities.

Just to be clear about it. I am definitely for seeing patients in person. But as a helpful addition in enhancing patient-doctor communication, this could take the place of the patient surfing for answers on the internet and in this scenario, he/she could opt to reach his/her physicians on the other end. We all know 2-way is better than 1-way communication, which is currently what is mostly happening.

It is a known fact, that people look for answers about their diseases on the internet. We can turn this enthusiasm around and make it work as an advantage for both the patients and doctors instead of discouraging it. Medical quackery on the web is the problem now not the curious patient. Thus, we have to be vigilant in making patients aware of such presence. But we can take advantage of everyone’s ability and interest in obtaining information from the web as a resource then for that other end of connectivity—the other end of our terminal, those receiving medical care from us. Organizations like Health On The Net Foundation are one way of taking care of medical information found on the web. Ensuring this is more possible now that more and more medical professionals are involved directly in sharing medical information.

From Medicine 2.0 (dot) org:

Gone is the era in which a small group of ‘experts’, who controlled mass media, simply fed us data. It’s now time for ‘you’ to make the rules.This same phenomenon could be extended onto the world of medicine.

In the last couple of years, Internet has played a very significant role in our lives and it will in future.Last year a study in BMJ science journal showed that more than 58% of surveyed people depend on the internet for information about diseases.The researches concluded that as internet access becomes more readily available in outpatient clinics and hospital wards, the web is rapidly becoming an important clinical tool for doctors…

Related post—2.0 in Medicine and Definitely Beyond

Upcoming post—Media In Medicine: What of the Insurance Companies & Dr. Stark?


~ by Karina Descartin on 11 February 2008.

8 Responses to “Media in Medicine: More Than Mending The Broken”

  1. […] Related—Media In Medicine: More Than Mending The Broken […]

  2. […] Stark’s is another example of this big “office move” or “expansion“. The inclusion of media in medicine or for his take, his medical practice. Another foot […]

  3. […] Media In Medicine: More Than Mending The Broken […]

  4. […] and ensuring the quality of care they are giving. The important bottom line, as we have emphasized again and again, is the need for effective communication among us […]

  5. […] Karina S. Descartin at The story of healing talked about Jay Parkinson, the web-savvy doctor and use of media in medicine. […]

  6. […] Story of Healing’s post, Media In Medicine: More Than Mending The Broken, is featured as one of the editor’s […]

  7. […] arteries and veins of Web 2.0. I then proceeded with exploring further focusing more on its soul—media (focusing on the gifts of the new media) than its intimidating surname—2.0. However, I do not […]

  8. […] Karina S. Descartin at The Story of Healing blog has already written some essays about the role of media in medicine and she has always been interested in the opportunities web 2.0 can offer to medical professionals. […]

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