"Health care" and "online medical information"
are among the most searched-for keyword phrases on the
Internet today. Research reveals that more than 65% of
Americans use the Internet at least occasionally to find
information about medical problems or issues.
But online medical research can be a
challenge as there are now literally thousands of sites
offering consumer-oriented health info of varying degrees of
thoroughness and reliability. Probably the safest approach is
to confine your research to the blue-chip megasites with
millions of visitors per month. This article profiles some of
the best of these.
1. Mayo Clinic
"The Needs Of The
Patients Come First" has been the primary and the
underlying principal of this world-renowned nonprofit
healthcare clinic established by the Mayo brothers in 1889 in
Rochester Minnesota. The company's huge website, at http://www.mayoclinic.org, provides diagnostic and treatment
information on virtually every disease and ailment known, all
of which are listed alphabetically.
If you click on, say, Acute Leukemia, the
link takes you to a page offering an overview of the disease,
as well as a listing of the various blood tests and other
diagnostic methods available. The patient can then read
details about treatment options which are available. One
especially nice feature of the site is that it offers stories
of real people who have won the battle against serious
illnesses such as acute leukemia.
Additional features include complete
profiles of the various doctors who are serving at the Mayo
Clinic and the capability to make online appointments with
them. You can also refill prescriptions and view and pay bills
on the site.
Webmd.com is an amazing source of online
medical information. True to its punch line, "Better
Information, Better Health", this website has a lot to offer.
For starters, it can be used to locate a specialist or a
hospital close to your home location. If you are planning to
take a drug that is new to the market, then you definitely
need to visit the review section to find details about it
before starting to use it.
On the WebMD home page you can find a
number of attractive slide show packages dealing with topics
varying from how to increase the chances of pregnancy, to a
recommended thirty minute workout schedule, to a slide show on
dental fixes. There are lots of medical news tidbits as well
as an Expert column that enables you to send a query to an
expert. You can even post your own tips and advice on the
message board. If you are overweight and planning a diet, then
use the BMI calculator to find your ideal body weight and a
calorie calculator to find how many calories you burn during
half an hour walking expedition. The site has many other
diagnostic features and services ? too many to list here.
Overall, it's terrific place to begin most kinds of online
medical research. In fact, you may not need to look any
3. Revolution Health
Revolution Health (http://www.revolutionhealth.com)
is an amazingly comprehensive health information website. Take
a few minutes to look it over - it's a resource you should
probably bookmark. Registration is required but this merely
requires that you provide your email address and set up a
password. For this small investment in time you will have
access to doctor-finding and rating tools, hospital
comparative rating charts, disease/medication/treatment
research tools, health risk assessment, exercise tracking
tools, a 6-week healthy living program, many free newsletters,
and much more. You can also sign up for a Premium Membership
($129./year) which provides a "Health Assistant and Advocate"
to counsel you in dealing with virtually any type of health
question or concern, from finding treatment options to dealing
with your health insurance provider. Its a very cool, very
useful site and you could spend many hours profitably perusing
3. Joslin Diabetes Center
A research paper published by the
American Medical Association (AMA) shows that about eight
percent of Americans are suffering from diabetes ? that's
about 16 million people. Half of them are not even aware of
the problem, sometimes due to incorrect diagnoses. Diabetes is
a condition in which insulin secretion is reduced thus
restricting an individual?s ability to process sugar or foods
high in fat content. This in turn damages the patient?s blood
vessels and eventually starts impacting the vital body organs
like kidneys, eyes etc.
Joslin Diabetes Center (http://www.joslin.org) provides comprehensive
information about the various types of diabetes, diabetes
management, how to diagnose diabetes and, most importantly,
what complications may sooner or later be faced by a patient
suffering from diabetes, as well as preventive measures. A
unique and interesting feature is a collection of recipes that
have been specially developed for diabetes patients. These
recipes clearly show that a diabetic can enjoy a good meal
without compromising his/her overall health. A must visit on
the site is the nutrition library, which provides a plethora
of information and recommendations about day-to-day life with
this disease. The site also provides several online courses to
enhance your knowledge of this silent killer, plus discussion
boards where you can share and gain information.
4. Buying Medicines Online
There are now many legal and ethical
sites where you can buy medicines online. (Note that this is
distinct from illegally purchasing prescription drugs online
without a prescription, which is extremely unwise for many
Sites like Medicine Online (www.medicineonline.com), enable you to buy medicines from
the pharmacy offering them at the best possible price. The
Medicine section of the site allows you to enter your request
for prescription medicines, meal supplements, vitamins, etc.
Then online pharmacy companies respond to your bids with their
best pricing options and service conditions. This helps you
engage in safe online purchasing of your drugs at the best
possible price. Similarly, you can invite bids if you are
about to undergo a surgery and are looking for the best
clinics and medical facilities at optimum pricing.
The site provides a rich online medical
information journal discussing the latest technologies,
medical instruments and drugs that are being used by current
day practitioners to treat ailments. It also gives detailed
information about preventive measures that users can take to
protect themselves from numerous diseases.
5. Wrong Diagnosis
Wrong Diagnosis (www.wrongdiagnosis.com ) is an eye-opener for anyone researching a medical
condition. The site's home page displays details of the ten
most common ailments from which people suffer today like
diabetes, anxiety, allergies, asthmas, cold, flu etc,. Each of
these links takes you to a detailed description of the
condition or disease, its symptoms, diagnostic tests, and
treatment options. In short, this site offers a virtual
encyclopedia listing all the details of most commons ailments.
There are also case studies and true life stories of patients,
which can be a great morale booster for those afflicted with
Part II. Additional
To continue your research about online
medical information the following useful resources can be
My Electronic MD
While self-diagnosis online is hardly a
substitute for seeing your doctor, it can provide some useful
insights, especially in the case of minor health problems, and
this is turning into an enormously popular online research
My Electronic MD (http://www.myelectronicmd.com) is worth a look as a typical
offering in this area. This (admittedly somewhat cheesy)
website offers online medical diagnosis for both men and
women. By clicking on a particular body part, a list of
diseases likely to affect that particular area of human
anatomy is displayed. Then, once you've selected a particular
ailment or disease, a list of possible symptoms appears.
Selection of a symptom takes you to a page displaying details
of possible causes (e.g., diseases) as well as a list of
various tests that should be conducted to correctly diagnose
the problem and the possible treatments which are available.
Again, a site like this can be informative, even reassuring,
but is hardly a substitute for a visit to a doctor.
Obesity is of course essentially a health
problem ? in fact it's often the root cause of various
ailments like diabetes, heart attacks, hypertension and joint
pains. Doctors tell us that being 40% above your normal weight
can be life threatening. A Nielson study has shown that 73% of
all women worldwide diet at least once during their lifetimes,
and the men are starting to catch up. Hundreds of thousands of
Internet users search online daily for methods of losing
unwanted weight and keeping it off.
Weight Watchers (http://www.weightwatchers.com), established in 1963 by Jean
Nidetch, is the number one site in this field, providing tons
of good support material, advice, low calories recipes, online
diaries and forums, etc. Given that there are are so many
charlatans out there promising you easy weight loss, Weight
Watchers is probably as good a place as any to gravitate to
for this type of information and advice.
National Diabetes Information
Here's another great site on diabetes,
which is turning into something approaching a health plague in
the U.S.. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
(http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/) provides A to Z information about
diabetes, its causes, preventive measures and cures. If you
have been recently diagnosed with diabetes this site will be
of considerable interest to you, providing an in-depth
tutorial about the disease and its causes, precautions to be
taken, tips on controlling it, and dangers which can result
from uncontrolled sugar levels. This site is a bible for
anyone suffering from diabetes.
Related Web Search Guides
Other Web Search Guides you may find
Online Health Information