to Forum discussion.
Have you ever had a doctor laugh, or make fun of, the time you've tried to present
information you've found on-line, and asked whether this was good information and
whether you might do the same kind of thing. Well, those days are changing.
Whereas a few years ago, a search just yielded some random, and sometimes not very
useful information, it's all changing. We now have access to the world's information,
that we can apply to health — not just in a random, unfocused, chaotic way.
We are beginning to really grasp, and get a hold of, and control, and put to good use,
the information of the world.
The information we have at hand, to put in the service of our health, is larger,
far larger, than the knowledge of any single doctor, expert, medical library,
because we draw from varied experiences, insights and information from the entire
world, and all the medical libraries of the world, and all the people of the world.
The body of knowledge we're going to draw from is astoundingly, and unprecedently
We have social media, where we can discuss, with tens of people, hundreds of people,
even thousands of people, a specific health question. We get a lot of answers.
Maybe they won't be all right answers. But you know what, as the conversation
develops, you get incrementally closer to good answers.
We have discussion forums. Many conditions, for instance, you can find very
sophisticated discussion forums, being conducted not by experts, but by people
with the condition or who have somebody close to them with that condition.
You'll be astounded at the kinds of solutions and answers that are coming
from very simple discussion forums focused on a specific topic.
You can turn to people who you develop trust with over time; trusted opinion
sources. They could be doctors. They could just be anybody — an accountant,
a business person, a schoolteacher, who have developed their own sort of expertise
and weight of assistive knowledge, and you know that you can turn to that person
for some insightful thoughts on a specific health question.
There are new web sites emerging that are collecting people's experiences. These
are websites like patientslikeme.com (for
neuro-degenerative diseases), curetogether (for many other conditions)
and the Undoctored on-line experience. We're collecting data also, and
we'll be reporting it back to you, so that you understand what this process
There even opportunities emerging, for what I call Virtual Clinical Trials.
Let's say you have a specific strategy, maybe it's a nutritional supplement,
that you think is very helpful for a specific condition. You can informally
organize a trial, where maybe you get 50 other people to take supplement X,
to see if it has an effect on a specific measure or condition. Then over a
preset period of time, say a month, or three months, or whatever, depending
on the condition, they all report back, what they're experience has been.
This has already been done. It's already underway. It's yielding some very
surprising findings. And you know what; it's virtually free. The doctor's
not involved. You can do this on your own.
So to make fun of what we can accomplish now, in the on-line health information
exchange experience, is silly. Your doctor is out of touch. He's way behind.
He still thinks that he is the paternalistic and sole source of information,
and that you should submit because you're ignorant. Those days are long over.
It is the age of information empowerment, and you are in control of
that information, and putting it to use. That's why I call this Undoctored.