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The internet has brought many things into our home, from trendy clothing stores to stock market trading. It has also brought the world of medicine into our homes, with everyday people having access to some of the leading information on disease and illness.
The term e-medicine can refer to any sort of medical information or advice that can be obtained over the internet. This can be in the form of database style websites that contain a plethora of medical information, and websites that offer referrals and advice online or via email.
E-medicine is a branch of medicine that has been slowly evolving over the past few years. With this evolution comes an array of advantages and also disadvantages for those seeking medical advice.
Advantages of e-medicine include:
- having access to information without paying high doctor fees;
- being able to get many opinions on the one medical disorder;
- catching a serious illness early;
- allow a person to research and decide upon the treatment pathways they will take if he or she is aware of what they are suffering with.
Disadvantages of e-medicine include:
- misinterpretation of medical information which may then lead to paranoia od hypochondriasis (thinking you are sick when you are not);
- not knowing where to start resulting in information overload;
- preoccupation with illness resulting from the constant ability to search for information.
Although e-medicine and the internet provides a portal of valuable information for people, it is important to keep in mind that a talking to a medical professional in person is the only way to diagnose an illness correctly.