Internet medicine: The next frontier

Patients making their own diagnosis to relieve pressure on Norway’s health care system:

Norwegians are ready to make their own diagnosis on the internet rather than sit in endless queues at the doctor’s surgery, claim BI researchers Tor W. Andreassen and Even J. Lanseng in a recent study.

Demand for health services is growing and leading to a sharp rise in health expenditure in Norway, as in the rest of the world. Our health service is itself not entirely healthy and it is struggling with tight budgets, low staffing levels and long queues.

One day, Professor Tor W. Andreassen sat in a never-ending queue at the doctor’s surgery with a coughing and sickly young child and had plenty of time to ponder.

The child was perhaps not desperately ill, but ill enough to go to the doctor’s to find out what was wrong.

“What if we could make the diagnosis with the aid of self-service technology?” he pondered and what would it take to make people really start to use a system for self-diagnosis.

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