Tuesday, February 26, 2013

For the Life of Technology

By Christy May, WNED-TV producer and director

My phone rang. My sister was calling via FaceTime from her home in Ireland. Thanks to technology we enjoy these ‘virtual visits’ across the Atlantic Ocean - for free. This time, my 2-year-old niece, Charlotte, had prompted her mom to ring so she could talk to Rico, my African Grey parrot, whom she became infatuated with during her visit last Christmas. Isn’t technology wonderful? Steve Jobs probably never envisioned the iPhone as a way for a 2-year-old to exchange pleasantries with a talking parrot. Even one of the world’s best visionaries can’t fully anticipate how technology will change the world.

Just think of how rapidly your world has changed as technology advances. It has penetrated nearly every aspect of our lives—changing the way we communicate, access information, and even the way we socialize.

Dave deBronkart is a self described technology geek. Diagnosed with a rareDave_Lygeia_talking and terminal cancer with a median survival of just 24 weeks, he turned to a group of fellow patients online and found the medical treatment that saved his life.

“I’ve always been an activated online engaged person. Using technology to find information and reaching out to others on the internet was the most natural thing in the world. I got connected with this expert community on ACOR.org and I got superb advice, not just on treatment options, but on how to deal with the side effects,” said deBronkart. Dave on ComputerYes, technology is wonderful!

He started a blog about his experience and with his “free replay in life” became a leader in the e-patient movement—an emerging group of empowered, engaged, equipped and enabled patients who take control of their healthcare. On Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. “e-Patient Dave” is featured in e-Patients, the latest edition to WNED-TV’s My Health Counts! series.

With host Susan Hunt and Lygeia Ricciardi, senior policy advisor for consumer e-Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they discuss how technology allows patients to access more information, connect with others, and collaborate with healthcare providers in new and innovative ways.

My Health Counts! e-Patients explores the emerging culture of participatory medicine, in which networked patients use technology—from personal health records, patient portals and home monitoring devices to e-mail and social networking sites—to make informed decisions about their health and healthcare.

Tune in to find out how technology can help you become an e-patient—empowered, engaged, equipped and enabled.

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