We do a lot of praising of technology at the Allen School Blog for the amazingly positive role it plays in delivering convenient access to medical billing classes online. We also love to cover stories about groundbreaking technological breakthroughs within the medical field and the excellent consequences of applying hi tech to medicine. But it ain’t, as they say, “all peaches and cream”. What about the times when technology becomes an impediment to medicine?
Take for example the downside of self-diagnostic websites such as WebMD.com, medicinenet.com, onhealth.com and others that allow users to enter in whatever symptoms they may be experiencing and then provide potential diagnoses. While these sites are useful to a certain degree, everyone at one point or another has let their imagination run away with them while visiting them. You know the feeling: You visit WebMD to see what may be causing those sore gums and leave convinced that you are in imminent danger of experiencing heart failure! It is amazing how far towards the extremes the human imagination can run with a sliver of sound information.
But true to form, we’re going to conclude this post with yet another positive development brought to us by the application of technology to medicine. Meet Ron Gutman, a man who wanted to provide an online resource to help lay users avoid the panic that comes from dire misdiagnosis at sites like WebMD. His company, HealthTap provides an online diagnostic service by subscription, delivering unlimited access to actual MDs via a web app for $99/month. This innovative solution is the leading edge of an emerging marketplace for “telehealth” technologies and this is something that any medical industry entrant should be aware of. It is the wave of the future!