Health Care in the United States has been put on a rocky ride over the last decade. With the U.S. Economy still suffers, and the ever-changing desires and needs of the American populace, a seemingly endless Health Revolution has gathered momentum and many amazing resources have been the outcome. Thanks to the consumer movement and online blogs, it’s easier than ever to stay informed about your health and your doctors. But it can be hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the information you find online. So how do you know which websites are useful, and which sites are full of buzz and hype? Consider these six tips:
Look for websites based on what you know. If you’re a health nut, you’ll probably have some favorite websites that you regularly check in on. Ask yourself what types of information might interest you if this website appeals to you. Is there good information on natural remedies, obesity, or cholesterol? Perhaps you’d like to find out more about your own health. Think about whether you’re interested in learning more about a disease, diagnosis, drug action, or new technologies for treating or preventing disease.
Look for websites that offer a free trail period. A “membership” program that lets you download a digital copy of the website’s materials is a great opportunity to see the information first-hand, and decide whether it really “matches” your interests before paying the fee. Look for health articles, podcasts, free guides, and virtual shopping stores.
Check out websites for the National Health Service, the Commonwealth of Independent Medical Boards, the Academy of General Dentistry’s portal, the American Dental Association, and the American Gastroenteric Association. These organizations offer a variety of tools and information on improving your health, such as digital posters, podcasts, and informative newsletters. Some of these websites also allow you to register for a trial version of their digital product. This allows you to receive information about new products and features, while protecting your privacy. Other websites provide a platform for consumers and providers to interact.
Look for sites that offer additional services, such as educational resources, telephone numbers to call, and patient education programs. If you have questions about your health, you might be interested in information about the National Health Service or other government health initiatives. You might also be interested in hearing from dentists about digital devices used to treat tooth decay. Many websites also offer consumer stories and reviews, so that you can get an objective view of a product or service.
With all of the available information on the internet today, how do you know what is fact and what is fiction? The best way to find out is to visit legitimate websites that offer objective information. Look for websites that offer basic, non-technical information about your health or that address current issues that you have. Websites that only sell products and services are likely to sell health-related items and information that are out of date. Avoid such sites when looking for the latest news and trends in health.