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Key Concept 2 - The Bottle Neck
markavdb5 wrote in symptomx

The second key concept has to do with medical knowledge and what options do people have to obtain it.  The first thought that comes to mind for most is simply to see their doctor.  Other times people may ask their family members or friends depending on their comfort level.  Then of course you could always search the internet and while tools have improved you still need a pretty good idea as to what the diagnosis is for any real help.

The first option of going to see your doctor generally has the best results as far as easily getting quality answers.  Medical professionals by default have the best opportunities to learn about problems we tend to have as humans.  The problem with always seeing your doctor for everything is fairly clear, it is the cost.   As we rely on doctors for 100% of our health concerns, even the minor ones, we had to start competing for their time.  In our country we compete by offering more money which puts some in our population at a disadvantage.  This competition also drives up the cost for everyone as it is impossible for doctors to treat every scratch and bruise anyone may encounter. 

Seeking advice from family members is a much cheaper way to go and you can get some great information.  The trouble with seeking medical help from family is that they are not always a great source of quality information.  If the problem your experiencing is common in your family then it seems fair that your family might actually know more about it than an average doctor who has had no experience with the condition other than reading about it.  Then there is the trouble that people in your family may forget or not have noticed a certain issue.  Previous generations are not known for talking up their medical problems and unless they experienced something first hand, they may not remember hearing anything of use. 

Then we have the problem of comfort level.  A person may be no more comfortable asking their parents about a medical problem than anyone else.  People have enough trouble approaching their doctors about sensitive topics, many would rather search the internet than admit a condition to people they know.  While there is some great information available via the internet there is the problem of finding it.  Even today it seems that unless you have a diagnosis, finding help through the internet is almost impossible. 

The challenge we found in this was from whom do we get quality information and how do we make it available to those in need without having to charge a lot of money, may anyone uncomfortible or take a lot of time.   We felt it started with those who could afford accesses to the doctors with the best information.  Ideally if we could obtain information a patient had "purchased" from a medical professional and capture the patient experience too, then we could use that to help those without access to medical care.  In short this is all about disseminating information without degrading its quality and doing it in such a way that the information is both helpful and resilient to misunderstandings.   If the benefit of one person having medical access helped even a few others, it should start to drive down cost for everyone and may even lead to better treatment options all involved.


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