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article imageHealth experts continue to debate on safety of self-diagnosing

By Andrew Moran     Feb 26, 2013 in Health
San Diego - Access to a medical physician isn't always within the realm of possibility. At certain times, individuals may want to know what their blood type is, if they're missing certain vitamins in their diet or even if they have diabetes.
Health experts are becoming concerned about the growing trend of online self-diagnosing. Many are questioning whether the concept is safe and successful. Whether it’s constant sneezing, a shortness of breath, a bad headache or eye fatigue, many Internet users are performing searches on Google and turning to websites like WebMD.com.
“We are concerned that people may self-diagnose without going to a doctor," said Michael Summers, Patients Association vice chairman, in an interview with the London Telegraph. "We advise against that very strongly, because online information is often not to be relied upon. It's much better to consult your GP."
Most do concur that if a person feels something is serious the matter then they should consult a doctor. However, if it is due to costs or the serious issue of wait times, many have no other alternative than to search for assistance from an outlet such as WebMD.com and Medline Plus.
One website has begun to combine the benefits of visiting a health clinic and the usefulness of online medical information services. TestCountry.com is looking at “making life easier” by offering customers various health kits, medical tests, products, supplies and information packs. Essentially, it’s a pharmacy, health clinic and medical directory all in one.
TestCountry was established in 2001 and was designed to develop a system that enhances direct-to-patient technology-based solutions to remedy some of the issues affecting the healthcare system. By using the website, the founders explain, patients can receive swift, inexpensive and confidential health information through instant and convenient laboratory-based testing solutions.
Visitors to the website can immediately see its various categories, such as blood type test kits, digital alcohol detectors, urinary tract infection home urine testing kit for dogs, blood cholesterol levels testing service and much more. Most of its inventory is FDA approved and cleared, while the laboratory tests are up to 99.9 percent accurate.
The company explains that if you wish to discreetly test your child for substance abuse or if you’re an employer is looking to initiate drug screenings on employees or prospective workers then TestCountry could be the remedy.
As a member of the Drug and Industry Association, National Defense Industry Association and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, TestCountry maintains a national and international clientele involved in the medical, manufacturing, transportation and retail sectors.
Whether a person may suffer from cyberchondria or wishes to ease his or her mind and seek confirmation of a health issue, the health information industry is dramatically changing. From the days of 19th century medical encyclopaedias that suggest leeches to websites that offer in-depth information regarding symptoms, illnesses, treatments and other aspects, advances to medical technology will continue to be innovated.
Soon, hospitals will be paging Dr. Watson. Digital Journal reported on IBM’s supercomputer that will be filled with medical journals and textbooks to assist medical staffs, answer questions from medical students and aid patients.
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