Monday, February 4, 2008

More On Patient Internet Searches

Since my last post on potential dangers of searching the internet, I've learned of some potential problems and biases in the CMPI study that was quoted. Suffice it to say that the data from this study needs to be more thoroughly analyzed before it is taken seriously. While some patients certainly can be subjected to information that misleads or harms, it is equally clear that others are well informed, discriminating and intelligent. Moreover, many patients use other patients to review and validate data and benefit greatly from this.

I still believe that patients and physicians teaming up both in the office and in review of health data on the internet, as well as interacting on line about this data is a great, possibly optimal, model.

But, if you are a patient who has learned to use the internet successfully, by all means, don't be dissuaded or alarmed by the conclusions of my last post. However, if you are a patient who has difficulty knowing what to believe from web searches and you don't have a good support group to help you validate this information, interaction with a physician is a great way to get started sorting out what to do.

Your comments are always appreciated.


AmyT said...

Seems like a slightly strange discussion to me. Of course the Internet is a powerful tool for us patients!


Thanks for bringing all the docs along, too :)


e-Patient Dave said...

You're being nice, which is good, but I think everyone who reads about the CMPI study needs to be aware of the true nature of this organization - it's a PR front for pharma, whose president is a top executive at a PR firm whose clients include a bunch of big pharma. When someone turned on the lights, they got nasty. See story.