There are two items in the news this week that caught my attention. One talks about the use of over a billion dollars from the new Federal Government stimulus package to assess which widely used medical treatments are really best (NYT 2/16/09, "US to Study Effectiveness of Treatments"). The second announces how, Zagat, the prestigious service that rates high end restaurants is now rating doctors according to input from their patients (NYT 2/16/09, "Noted Rater of Restaurants Brings Its Touch to Medicine"). Ok, let's digest this for a minute. First about the evaluation of treatments: Obviously the drug and medical...

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Stimulus Plan & Rating Doctors from Patient Power® on Vimeo.Andrew's V-Blog (02/16/09)

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We could have predicted it. Naysayers who say that now there are three approved prescriptions medicines for fibromyalgia, a chronic pain syndrome, marketing is fueling hype – hype about a condition some people say is all in a patient's head. Here we go again. The drug companies are always an easy target. When a drug is a success it can bring in more than a billion dollars a year. Treatments are costly and many people, including millions with no insurance or who are underinsured, struggle to pay for them. So the pharmaceutical industry continues to have a public relations problem....

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Andrew Schorr, 59 and living with his family near Seattle, has been a pioneer in health communications since 1984 after a previous career as a national television news and information reporter and producer. In 1996 he was diagnosed with leukemia. By connecting with an online community of patients he was guided to specialists in his condition. He enrolled in a clinical trial that, fortunately, led to a long-term remission and a normal life without the need for ongoing treatment. Andrew’s mission – his passion - is to empower other patients with information and the tools to be “powerful patients” themselves....

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Technology and Your Health: Early Innovations for Patients from Patient Power® on Vimeo.

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If you've kept up on technology as we search for Osama Bin Laden you may know the U.S. Military, and the CIA, have unmanned drones aloft over war zones. Those "eyes in the sky" carry missiles and are flown remotely by "pilots" in air conditioned trailers near Las Vegas. For them warfare is like a video game. No matter how you feel about war in the air or on the ground, you have to marvel at the technology and wish it could apply to other needs, like fighting disease and illness. Guess what? It can and it will. A fascinating...

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I was interested to see that the daytime, syndicated television show, "The Doctors" is doing well. Oh PLUHLEEZE! Here we go once again with two things that really bug me: 1) doctors are featured as experts and there is no patient on the panel and 2) it makes health concerns entertainment, putting an emphasis on the looks of the doctors and their "star power" more than the humanity and real "pain"of the issues. As an aside, I heard that that the lead doctor on the show, Dr. Travis Stork, had already been a big hit on "The Bachelor." Then, in...

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