Can you believe that real doctors will answer your questions unpaid? The concept still kind of floors me, but when you look at their website you can see how it works. I’ve considered making a website like this before because I think I’m benefitted greatly by my access to doctors who I work with who can answer my detailed questions. My family doctor does his job, but when you get home you always have 2 or 3 more questions that you forgot to ask your primary care physician. This free service from OurHealthNetwork.com (http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com/) might just be the solution for many people interested in getting more information from an actual doctor.
Here’s a description of their service:
For millions of Americans who do not have health insurance, seeing a doctor is not an option. However one unique Web site allows visitors to ask its board-certified physicians questions – absolutely free. Since 1999 OurHealthNetwork.com (http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com) has provided the public with accurate and up-to-date information about a variety of medical conditions. This information includes causes, symptoms, and self-help treatments that are written in terms that the general public can understand
OurHealthNetwork.com is a “network” of specialty-trained physicans who have joined together to create Web sites that furnish information about each of their specialties. Each Web site covers a specialist’s field, and all of the information on the site is written and maintained by that physician.
“What makes these sites unique is the fact that the doctors will answer questions that are submitted to them through their Web sites, free of charge,” said Dr. Lowell Weil, Jr., a medical director of OurHealthNetwork.com. “Of course the doctors cannot make diagnoses, but they can clarify an individual’s medical problem, answering that person’s specific questions. Our goal is to offer people in pain accurate medical information and peace of mind.” OurHealthNetwork.com’s doctors have personally responded to tens of thousands of questions every year since 1999. Another unique feature of OurHealthNetwork.com is the fact that it does not allow advertising on any of its sites. This permits its physicians to provide truly unbiased information. “We do not need to tailor our information to please Corporate America,'” Dr. Weil, Jr. added. “Having no ads or pop-up windows helps to keep our Web sites from being cluttered, and allows for easy and hassle-free navigation.”
OurHealthNetwork.com finances its efforts by allowing visitors to purchase the exact same products its doctors recommend and use in their private practices. Visitors benefit from purchasing these products through the physician’s Web site because they get the correct medical-grade products that they need at discounted prices.
But Dr. Paul R. Kasdan, the network’s founder, emphasized that visitors do not need to purchase anything in order to use OurHealthNetwork.com’s informational services or to have their questions answered. “Purchasing products is just another convenience we offer the public.”
Millions of visitors from every U.S. state and more than 30 different countries around the world now turn to OurHealthNetwork.com every year. The specialty Web sites that are currently available include arthritis; the back; hand, wrist, and elbow; the knee; and the foot and ankle. According to Dr. Kasdan, “New specialty sites are added when we find a specialist who is dedicated to practicing medicine the old fashion way’ – helping individuals in need and not worrying about a fee for their service.”
There website also seems like a good source of information for those doctors interested in linking their main website to other online medical resources. I personally took a look at the carpal tunnel syndrome page since I think I’m headed down that road since I spend so much time on the computer. Some good information.
I also wonder how many doctors should start doing something like this in their own web portal. Patients would love it. It could be integrated with your EMR and provide a great service to patients. Maybe OurHealthNetwork.com (http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com/) could provide an affiliate program to doctors who want to integrate OurHealthNetwork into their own patient portal. This would give doctors a funding mechanism for answering questions online while also increasing the knowledgebase of OurHealthNetwork.com (http://www.OurHealthNetwork.com/).