#DigitalHealth: Who needs a doctor, or a pharmacist when you can be your own doctor?

Digital Health

The thought of giving your doctor the boot may have crossed your mind every now and again. After all, you would end up with plenty of savings in healthcare costs, and regain full control of your health destiny. Well, being your own doctor is an easy thought, but requires quite some effort to actualize and keep yourself in a desirable state of health.

Look around, you will find plenty of resources out there to help you replace the doctor with your good old self. There are TV shows, books, apps, and all manner of self-proclaimed gurus with handy advice on self-doctoring. Well, you can look these up and decide whether doctoring yourself is something you may want to take up. And if you end up taking it up, remember it’s not a hobby, you’d be getting into the serious stuff.

Let’s look at how you can doctor yourself. The good old common sense is the first thing. You know how this works. Take all reasonable measures to prevent disease. Sort out common and mundane ailments with simple remedies. Nobody really needs to go to the doctor’s to be reminded about how to prevent malaria, or how to ease off a simple headache. Just being proactive, and sensible, can keep you away from your doctor’s for long spells of time.

What about following handy advice from all those readily available resources? You will find many TV programs giving out tips on maintaining good health. Those manned by professionals tend to be very objective. But there are plenty of programs whose sole objective is to market a fad or a product. Sucking up to a popular craze is unlikely to keep you away from your doctor for long. The same applies to medical publications. If you select your buys wisely, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t end up giving your doctor a run for their money.

Self-diagnostic tools have become commonplace. They tend to be simplistic, or pretty complicated algorithms that can interpret medical data and lead to a fairly accurate diagnosis. All you need is to identify a tool that fits your specific circumstances. You then key in specific data about yourself. The end product is not just a diagnosis, but also a recommendation and a prescription to boot. And the meds will be available online and delivered to your door. Who needs a doctor, or a pharmacist?

But be wary of replacing a well-grounded professional with yourself as a layperson. True, some ailments are so simple that no one really needs a medical degree to sort them out. But a myriad of ailments is pretty complex, requiring a well-rooted scientific analysis and a carefully thought out treatment plan. There are obvious limits as to how much you can doctor yourself. You won’t be completely replacing your doctor anytime soon.
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