Self-diagnosis using the Internet 

Written by  Facing Cancer Together
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(Lancaster) -- Many times, the first thing a person does when experiencing some unusual medical symptoms is head to the Internet.

But using a search engine may not always be the best way to diagnose an ailment or health-related issue.

witf's Megan Lello spoke with Dr. Paul Conslato, medical director for Lancaster General Medical Group, about how to responsibly read through diagnoses online. Dr. Conslato says that some independent learning on symptoms that they are experiencing is usually a good idea.

Listen to their conversation:

self-diagnosis-internetDr. Conslato says, “The reality is, a more informed patient usually leads to a more productive engagement where the physician is acting as a partner in finding a solution to a person’s healthcare needs,” he explains.

But, with every potential innovation in healthcare there are some downsides. What he sees on an infrequent basis is a heightened concern about symptoms.

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“An e-Patient is someone that is empowered, engaged, equipped, and enabled,” says Christine Amy from Aligning Forces for Quality --- South Central Pennsylvania. Amy works to help people become better so-called “e-Patients” by using technology to stay informed about their health.

Amy highlights some of the characteristics of an engaged patient in this video.

The healthcare industry is just starting to incorporate electronic medical records, patient portals, and apps into their practices. And, although it is just the beginning, Dr. Karen Jones, an Internist & Medical Director for Quality and Innovation at WellSpan Health, says that the future is not too far out in changing how care is delivered and received. Watch the video here.

“For me, the most exciting part of the Digital Age in health care is the potential we have to help people understand and have more control of their health care,” says Dr. Jones.

And, check out this video to learn more about how medical apps are streamlining care and are helping patients become more engaged in their care.

Where do you turn for information about a diagnosis or symptoms you're experiencing? Do you feel that doing some research before a visit with your doctor makes it a more meaningful interaction? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.

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