The best diagnostic medical device is right in your own home

What is the year 2011’s best diagnostic and therapeutic medical device?

Is it the PET scan with special bells and whistles to detect early Alzheimer’s?

Is it the robotic surgery that reams out the worst prostate cancers remotely?

Is it the Total Genomic Analysis that predicts what your genetic future holds?

Is it the GI endoscope that checks out your innards from stem to stern?

Is it the latest drug-eluting stent that promises to keep your clogged arteries clear in perpetuity?

Is it the light or electron microscope?

Is it the stethoscope?

Is it the contrast MRI that paints in vivid detail the artistic nuances of your bones, ligaments, and joints?

Is it the Proton Beam Machine to zap your cancer from 100 yards?

Is it a CT total body scanner that purports to find so many iddy biddy diseases so early you can fix them?

Is it the ordinary x-ray machine that can both diagnose and treat so many conditions?

Is it the health Internet from which you can access all recognized medical knowledge?

No, it is none of those basic or advanced technologies, all of which may be wondrous inventions, but have little effect on the totality of American life and death.

The best diagnostic and therapeutic device, by far, is the cheapest and easiest to use of all — the bathroom scale!

Everyone needs to use it in the privacy of their home every day and recognize and use the actionable results, thereby changing their life and their health for the better, at almost no cost to themselves, the government, or their health insurance company.

Proper use of the bathroom scale can help prevent obesity and with that, heart disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, sleep apnea, stroke, hypertension, osteoarthritis, GERD, various cancers, depression, even erectile dysfunction.

What a deal. A real medical miracle machine. Use it … every day. And don’t let your number rise.

George Lundberg is a MedPage Today Editor-at-Large and former editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Originally published in MedPage Today. Visit for more health policy news.

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