Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Let’s help patients with the tradeoffs in medicine

Hillary Clinton Health care elderly

Hillary Clinton Health care elderly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

mHealth and mobile heath technologies are all the rage these days. (See my previous post,The Future of Healthcare is Already at Your Fingertips [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

While mobile devices are useful in diagnosing and gathering information (as tracking devices), it is probably best to use them wisely and not let them distract you from all life has to offer.

 

 

 

From the 27 October 2012 article at Kevin MD.com

 

…we need to consider our own tradeoffs as researchers and practitioners when talking about health communication and engaging everyone in their own health. The tradeoff for aiming to engage people more and more is that we run the risk of overwhelming people.

Some of us are like e-Patient Dave: we want full access to all of our data, and, indeed, we should have it. But as someone living with chronic autoimmune illnesses and immersed in a never-ending data stream of self-tracking, monitoring, and constant, moment-to-moment tradeoffs, I acknowledge that I don’t always want to be engaged. I already spend plenty of time dealing with my health data, and sometimes, I would rather find a new hike to do with my kids this weekend than upload more data or peruse more graphs.

In short, let’s help people choose between the butter and the butter money in smart ways, and on their terms.

[Read the entire article here, “butter and butter money” is more or less the translation of a French saying…akin to having cake and eating it too]

Found this comment to be succinct and on target

 

carolynthomas • 20 hours ago

 

Merci bien, Prof Witteman. Despite BuzzKillerSmith’s odd comment here, it seems to me that you have hit upon a critically important link between reality and wishful thinking, between homeowners and your father-in-law contractor, between both patient and physician. (And if these tradeoffs were being as effectively addressed in day-to-day health care as BKS seems to believe, we wouldn’t have stent-happy cardiologists implanting all those unnecessary stents, would we now?)

Your quote “designing for the way people are, not the way we wish they were” seems especially appropriate in the discussion of health care and emerging technology. When I attended Stanford University’s ‘Medicine X’ conference last month, I was astounded by the number of young, tech-savvy “Quantified Self” proponents gushing over The Next Big Thing in health care technology – particularly all those self-tracking smartphone apps. (I shouldn’t have been astounded – we were in the epicentre of Silicon Valley, after all!) Completely missing was any insight from the health tech startups onstage that the demographic most likely to “need” this kind of technology (especially older users living with multiple chronic diseases) is clearly the group least likely to actually use it.[My emphasis] More on this at: “When The Elephant In The Room Has No Smartphone” – http://myheartsisters.org/2012…

So the tradeoffs in emerging health technology are, just as you are doing in both your career and in your diagnosis, to respect the fine line between what’s out there and what we need to do.

 

 

 

 

October 30, 2012 - Posted by | health care | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks Janice for including my KevinMD comment here on your blog, and the accompanying link to my site, Heart Sisters.
    regards,
    C.

    Comment by Carolyn Thomas | November 7, 2012 | Reply


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