New ideas about medicine and the internet from Silicon Valley

Last week the founders of ProcuraMed attended a multi-day conference on medicine and the internet at Stanford University, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, California (the CEO of ProcuraMed is a doctor who trained there, and the other founder of ProcuraMed is a Brazilian journalist).

We selected a few of the topics from the conference that we think will be interesting for our Brazilian readers.

Present at the conference were medical and computer experts from around the world, but the ProcuraMed crew appeared to be the only participants from Brazil. Here is a summary of some of the latest trends:

1. The patient as more of a true partner in their health care

Unlike most medical conferences, this conference was not only comprised of doctors—it appeared about a quarter of the participants were so-called ePatients, who came to deliver talks or participate in some way. This shows the emerging power of the patient in the new era in medicine.

Not too long ago (and still in some cases true), the doctor was a very paternalistic figure. He—only he— would decide what was best for his patient. He would not care about the patient’s opinion, and the patient rarely questioned the doctor’s judgement.

But the latest trend is that the patient is more of a true partner with the doctor and the other health care professionals in making decisions. For the patient who is interested in that, this should help the patient get the best care possible, the best outcomes. The modern doctor will respect the opinions and information of his patient, who now may be highly informed on certain health care subjects due to the internet.

2. Much more transparency in medicine

These advances in medicine require even more transparency; meaning more information about doctors, hospitals, and clinical research needs to be available online for the public, to help them make more informed and intelligent choices.

Actually, the USA is already far ahead of Brazil in the subject of transparency. Currently, in most states in the USA, doctors are obligated (if they want to practice medicine) to publish online, on an easy-to-use government website, facts such as where they went to medical school, if he passed all the requirements for a specialty or not, if he had any problems with his medical license and if the doctor lost any major medical malpractice lawsuits.

At ProcuraMed, we are working to bring transparency to medicine through our site, and we encourage doctors to join us in this effort, and share more useful information to the public. Doctors can share if he has any special interests in his practice (for example, if his is an orthopedic surgeon, do they do more shoulder surgery or knee surgery?), more about his clinic, what recent courses he took, and more— basically whatever the doctor wants to tell about himself and his practice, he can list on his ProcuraMed profile.

However, we at ProcuraMed do not want to be like the USA government sites; we are not here to talk about if the doctor lost lawsuits, or was ever arrested (as can be easily discovered in the USA). We want ProcuraMed to be the major platform for whatever information the doctor himself wants to share with the public. This alone will be a huge advance for medicine in Brazil, and help educate the patient, helping him to become more of a partner if that is what the patient desires.

Should you wish to find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, use our main website: www.procuramed.com

Read also in ProcuraMed:

Internet users are looking more at doctor ratings online

Full schedule and waiting time most irritates our readers

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)