Is the Internet Good for Your Health? – Healthy Living Center – Everyday Health

Is the Internet Good for Your Health? – Healthy Living Center – Everyday Health – 2013, January 16, Interviewed by Everyday Health’s Annie Hauser (@anniehauser) , on the latest report from PewInternet’s SusannahFox (@pewinternet@susannahfox).

I think this is a nice piece that reports on the data and contextualizes it for patients and physicians, enjoy, and thanks to both of you, Annie, and Susannah, plus a mention to the team at Kaiser Permanente, Amanda Wardell (@acwardell) and Ravi Poorsina (@ravipoorsina) who are helping to cheer on the decade of the patient.

On that point, Ted Eytan, MD, MPH, the physician director of the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington, DC, agrees that online or mobile resources should not serve as a substitute for a visit with your doctor. But he says a patient's online research can be enormously helpful — and instrumental in empowering patients to take charge of their health.

"Here's what I say: A diagnosis is best decided by the patient and physician together. If a patient is curious about what's going on with them and wants to research it, that's a wonderful thing," Eytan says. "Then you can go over the information you find with your physician, and you can decide on a diagnosis together."

Eytan says it's his job as a physician to make patients feel comfortable bringing information to him. "Patients are still learning that it's okay to bring up what they read or what they see on TV to us to see what we think," he says. "[The physician's] job is to make this an open conversation."

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Ted Eytan, MD