Monday, November 29, 2010

Modern medicine and Alternative medicine

Modern medicine treats illness using science and technology; it focuses narrowly how the doctor can solve the problem when the patient is ill. Alternative medicine, in a radically different approach, emphasis's the importance of staying healthy and requires individuals to take more responsibility for their own health. Traditional medical wisdom (for example, ayurveda in India) linked health to a state of harmony and disease to a state of imbalance, and focused on well-being and remaining well, and not on just 'fixing' the problem after one fell ill!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Alternative medicine offers a markedly different perspective

Rather than focusing on a person's medical problems in isolation, alternative medicine treats the patient as a whole; hence the popular term, holistic medicine. Doctors practicing alternative medicine sit down and talk to the patient; they touch and feel him and ask many questions. And such attention feels good, in refreshing contrast to the modern doctor who rarely has even 15 minutes to spend with the patient. (Often, tender loving care and personal attention are all that alternative medicine practitioners have to offer, but they offer it very well indeed!) There is no doubt of the efficacy of the placebo effect, and many ailments will get better when the patient has someone he can talk to. Also, the simple act of touching the patient can have a therapeutic effect. Alternative medicine doctors are very good at reassuring patients, as contrasted with the coldly scientific approach of western medicine.

Friday, November 26, 2010

HELP and YosCare Technologies: Free Online Personal Health Record

Help Library in association with Yos Technologies offers you free PHR and Applications

What are online health records? Online Health Records is a collection of:

Your personal health information including blood group, allergies, etc
All your medical records including prescriptions, lab reports and more.

This information once stored into your PHR account, can be accessed anytime, anywhere using your mobile. You can also share this information electronically with your healthcare providers - doctors, hospitals, etc.

Why does one need online health records?

Help your doctor help you !

For people who are always busy. Keeping track of all their records, and remembering each of their appointments on paper is difficult.

Having all your important medical records stored electronically is a central location, ensuring that the records are up-to-date, and having them readily available when needed makes the doctor’s job easier, more error free and safer for your overall care.

With YosCare, your health records are secure, permanent and available anytime, anywhere to be shared with your doctor.

Reasons for unhappiness with modern medicine

Patients increasingly feel that medicine has become too commercial and that doctors are too busy to spend time with them. They are unhappy with the impersonal nature of modern medicine, especially when the doctor spends more time looking at their reports and scans, rather than with them. While it is true that patients need technology, they also need tender, loving care; after all, doctors need to look after not only their medical problems, but also their emotional needs! Moreover, while modern medicine excels in certain areas (such as complex surgery for the repair of birth defects and the use of antibiotics for serious infections), it has failed miserably in the areas of disease prevention and the management of the myriad chronic illness (such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease) to which modern human beings are prone to, because of their lifestyle.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Alternative Medicine: Exploring Your Options

Modern medicine often inspires awe. The huge gleaming hospitals, expensive computerized equipment and sophisticated scanning machines appear very impressive and reassuring when you are afflicted by a disease. However, paradoxically, even though the effectiveness of medical technology has improved dramatically, more patients than ever before have become dissatisfied with their medical care today. This situation has resulted in a move towards 'alternative' medicine, which has become increasingly popular all over the world. Even in the United States of America (the bastion of high-tech scientific medicine) more than 50 per cent of the patients have consulted an alternative medicine practitioner, mainly because they were unhappy with modern medical care.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How can you save yourself from being quacked? Here are some useful pointers by Dr. Stephen

1. Forget about 'secret cures'. True scientists share their knowledge as part of the process of scientific development. Quacks often keep their methods secret to prevent others from decisively demonstrating that they don't work. No one who actually discovered a cure would have reason to keep it secret. If a method works - specially for a serious disease - the discoverer would gain enormous fame, fortune and personal satisfaction by sharing the discovery with others.
2. Remember that quackery often garbs itself in a cloak of pseudo-scientific respectability and its promoters often use scientific terms and quote (or misquote) from scientific references. Be equally wary of pseudo-medical jargon. Instead of offering to treat your disease, some quacks will promise to 'detoxify' your body, 'balance' its chemistry, release its 'nerve energy' or 'bring it in harmony with nature'. The use of concepts that are impossible to measure or quantify enables success to be claimed even though nothing has actually been accomplished.
3. Ignore any practitioner who says that most diseases are caused by faulty nutrition or can be remedied by taking supplements. Although some diseases are related to diet, most are not. Moreover, in most cases where diet actually is a factor in a person's health problem, the solution is not to take vitamins but to alter the diet.
4. Be wary of catchy anecdotes and testimonials. If someone claims to have been helped by an unorthodox remedy there is often a rational explanation. Most single episodes of disease which affect patients lead to recovery with the passage of time, and most chronic ailments (such as arthritis and psoriasis) are marked by symptom-free periods. Many people who give testimonials about recovery from cancer have undergone effective treatment as well as unorthodox treatment, but give credit to the latter. Some testimonials, of course, are complete fabrications!
5. Be skeptical of any product which claims to be effective against a wide range of unrelated diseases, particularly serious diseases. There is no such thing as a panacea or 'cure-all'.
6. Ignore appeals to your vanity. One of quackery's most powerful appeals is the suggestion to 'think for yourself' instead of following the collective wisdom of the scientific community. A similar appeal is the idea that although a remedy has not been proven to work for other people, it still might work for you. Remember that all humans have the same anatomy and physiology, and scientific rules apply to all of us.
7. Don't let desperation cloud your judgment! If you feel that your doctor isn't doing enough to help you, or if you have been told that your condition is incurable and don't wish to accept this fate without a struggle, don't stray from scientific health care in a desperate attempt to find a solution. Instead, discuss your feelings with your doctor and consider a consultation with a recognized expert.

The best way you can protect yourself from being taken for a ride, is to make sure you are well informed about your own body. The 'take-home message' is simple: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Unproven methods are not necessarily quackery

Those consistent with scientific concepts may be considered to be experimental, but legitimate practitioners do not go around promoting unproven procedures in the marketplace. Instead, they engage in responsible, properly designed research studies to prove or disprove their claims. Methods not compatible with established scientific concepts should be classified as nonsensical or disproven rather than experimental: for example, 'fish cure' for asthma which draws huge crowds to Hyderabad.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quackery can harm individuals in many ways.

First, is the loss of a tremendous amount of money which patients invest in pursuing this treatment, and many unscrupulous practitioners can bleed patients and their relatives dry - a little at a time. (There is an old saying: "The highwayman demands 'your money OR your life', but quacks demand "your money AND your life!") Also, many of the quack therapies can cause direct harm. It is a common misconception that 'natural medicines' have no harmful side- effects - but anything which can have an effect, by definition, also has the potential to cause harmful effects (after all, the desired effects of a medicine are what we call its therapeutic action and undesirable effects are labeled 'side-effects'!). The indirect harm they cause can also be enormous: for example, patients may pursue 'alternative medicine' for treating their cancers and may deprive themselves of the opportunity of getting effective state-of-the-art medical treatment.

Quackery flourishes even in the USA where people are much more sophisticated, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides effective policing. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that in India this menace is rampant, and there are far more quacks than regular medical practitioners. Faith healing, for example, is an integral part of Indian traditions, especially in villages where educated priests take advantage of people's ignorance and blind faith.

Many of us believe that we are far more sophisticated than the illiterate villager, and are above falling prey to quacks, but we need to realize that modern health quacks are supersalesmen, who play on fear and cater to hope. Who amongst us has not clipped at least one ad or bought at least one product which promises to either make you grow more hair, make you a better lover, remove your wrinkles, make you lose flab or improve your memory? While the cold scientific fact remains that there is not a single effective way of fulfilling the aforementioned claims, the fact that ads for these products are so prevalent obviously means they have a ready audience and are pulling in the bucks for their manufacturers!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Putting Patients First Conference - Mr.Nrip Nihalani on Using the Internet to educate patients

This video is a presentation by Mr.Nrip Nihalani at the Putting Patients First Conference held on 20th Oct,10. Topic "Using the Internet to educate patients." For more details log in to

Mr.Nrip Nihalani is the CEO of Plus 91 Technologies.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Putting Patients First Conference - Madhu Agarwal on Mapping the patient Information Journey

This video is a presentation by Ms.Madhu Agarwal at the Putting Patients First Conference held on 20th Oct,10. Topic "Mapping the patient Information Journey." For more details log in to

Ms.Madhu Agarwal is from Health and Cancer Information centre. She is the Macmillan Cancer Information Manager.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Putting Patients First Conference - Ms.Vandana Gupta on What I wish every doctor knew – the Patient’s Perspective

This video is a presentation by Ms.Vandana Gupta at the Putting Patients First Conference held on 20th Oct,10. Topic " What I wish every doctor knew – the Patient’s Perspective ". For more details log in to

Monday, November 15, 2010

Putting Patients First Conference - Mr.Rajendra P. Gupta on Role of patients in the healthcare system

This video is a presentation by Mr.Rajendra P. Gupta at the Putting Patients First Conference held on 20th Oct,10. Topic " Role of patients in the healthcare system". For more details log in to

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Putting Patients First - Dr.Shalini Ratan on Helping Doctors to become more patient-centric

This video is a presentation by Dr.Shalini Ratan at the Putting Patients First Conference held on 20th Oct,10. Topic "Helping Doctors to become more patient-centric". For more details log in to

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Putting Patients First - Dr. Abeezar I. Sarela on Indian doctors and UK doctors. What can we learn from each other?

This video is a presentation by Dr. Abeezar I. Sarela at the Putting Patients First Conference held on 20th Oct,10. Topic " Indian doctors and UK doctors. What can we learn from each other?". For more details log in to

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Putting Patients First Conference - Presentation by Dr Nikhil Datar on Promoting Patient Safety

This video is a presentation by Dr Nikhil Datar at the Putting Patients First Conference. Topic "Promoting Patient Safety". For more details log in to

Tuesday, November 9, 2010