Saturday, April 10, 2010

Health Info on the Web--Where do Boomers Begin?

I really bit off more than I could chew when I started this blog topic. There are so many sources of health information on the Web that it's no wonder it is confusing. Where do you go for your information?  I hope you'll comment and tell me. Perhaps there are better sites, geared to people of our age group, to look at for medical information.

We are hitting the time of life when health information is crucial. Sure we go to our doctors, but we also want to look up answers for ourselves. Is our doctor being conservative or aggressive in the treatment of our problem? Which specialty should I go to -- is it the orthopedist, the podiatrist, physical therapist or the chiropractor who can best treat my problem? When do you go to the allergist and when to the ear nose and throat doctor? What kind of doctor actually treats this problem? Do I really need to visit my primary physician before I choose a specialist to handle this issue?

I decided to take a look at some "Best of" sites to see if they could help me. One of the list sites that seemed to aggregate all of the health sites with good reputations together was called Medical Net Top 20, which says it is an independent site that looks at web sites and rates them.



First on its list is WebMD, a website many of you may already turn to for help with your medical issues.

 

I have to say that WebMD is my favorite place to start for a medical search. It is a well monitored site with a medical review board that makes sure its stories are honest. It also has a symptom checker. So if you are experiencing some symptoms, you can search for them and get a range of ideas about what the problem could be. The bottom line, however, is that you will be told to consult a doctor, no matter what! Web MD has some content tailored for Boomers. One, on the home page today, asks if Boomers will outlive their children...not a pleasant thought.


HealthCentral.com  differs from WebMD in some ways. It brings together health information from a lot of different sites and also talks about medical research that is going on. I have two problems with HealthCentral.com. First is the authenticity of the site. The information may be very accurate but it's difficult to find out who is making sure that only vetted information appears. Second is the way it is organized. HealthCentral really is the starting point for some 35 micro sites that discuss different diseases. If you fall into their categories, that's great. However, I think it makes it difficult for the average Boomer to figure out, is it heart disease or is it indigestion? This is just my opinion. Go to the sight, take a look, and form your own. On the good side there are really informative articles on this site. Two that may be of interest to Boomer women include "Good versus Bad Pain: How to Protect Yourself in Yoga Class" and  "Heart Attack Symptoms in Women"

In upcoming blog posts, I'll continue with my reviews of some of the health care sites and also look at some phone applications for iPhone and Google phones that deal with health. In the mean time, stay healthy!

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