News items: Online Patient Self-Diagnosis and Second Life as Therapy

From the Arizona Daily Star comes this article:

Deadly cancer eludes diagnosis: Scared woman finds answer missed by 6 Tucson doctors

Norma Greer made a correct diagnosis of Inflammatory Breast Cancer that six physicians missed.

How did she diagnose her condition?

…it took Greer herself less than an hour to come up with a possible IBC diagnosis, after she plugged her symptoms into the Internet.

Velly intellestink, no?

The Washington Post has an article titled Real Hope in a Virtual World
about patients who believe they’ve experienced real therapeutic benefits from Second Life.

After suffering a devastating stroke four years ago, Susan Brown was left in a wheelchair with little hope of walking again. Today, the 57-year-old Richmond woman has regained use of her legs and has begun to reclaim her life, thanks in part to encouragement she says she gets from an online “virtual world” where she can walk, run and even dance.

Roberto Salvatierra, long imprisoned in his home by his terror over going outdoors, has started venturing outside more after gaining confidence by first tentatively exploring the three-dimensional, interactive world on the Internet.

John Dawley III, who has a form of autism that makes it hard to read social cues, learned how to talk with people more easily by using his computer-generated alter ego to practice with other cyber-personas.

Tangental commentary: The gallery of images is interesting. I suppose it is just human nature, but have you noticed that almost everyone makes his or her Second Life Avatar more attractive than he/she is in real life?

One thought on “News items: Online Patient Self-Diagnosis and Second Life as Therapy

  1. I suspect most patients could diagnose themselves with the appropriate software. I look forward to the day that the first thing a health care professional does is check the patient’s preliminary diagnosis.