Is That Healthcare Website Making You Sick? - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Healthcare // Patient Tools
12:40 PM
Paul Cerrato
Paul Cerrato
Connect Directly

Is That Healthcare Website Making You Sick?

Many healthcare websites provide valuable information that can help prepare you for the next doctor's visit. But some serve up misinformation that just might land you in the hospital. Here's how to tell the difference.
2 of 9

A healthy dose of skepticism is in order if you decide to work your way through An article by R. Webster Kehr of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation, Inc. claims a natural approach to cancer can cure more than 90% of patients, while more traditional cancer treatment has been shown to cure only 3%. Why the huge difference? In Kehr's view, it's because treating "patients safely with natural products would dramatically reduce the profits of the medical community and the pharmaceutical industry."

Like many other health-related websites, Kehr's site stresses distrust of the medical establishment, patient testimonials, and statistics from individual doctors. Patient testimonials can be persuasive, but they are tough to judge for honesty. Similarly, these statistics, like any medical statistics, need some scrutiny. For example, of the 90% of patients who claim they were cured by a natural remedy, how many were followed up a year later to see if they relapsed? How many may have felt better but never had the necessary X-rays or CT tests to prove their tumors had shrunk? How can you be sure that patients whose tumors actually did shrink were experiencing the benefits of the treatment and not some other developments in their lives? For example, did the person move from a house near a toxic dump to a safer environment? Did the person give up smoking? Factors and variables like these are rarely mentioned when unconventional practitioners discuss "survival" stats.


Pick Up Your Smartphone: The Doctor's Calling

Walgreens' Facebook Site Adds Health Advice

7 Health Education Tools For Patients

11 Telemedicine Tools Transforming Healthcare

Social Gaming Helps The Medicine Go Down

9 Tech Innovations For Your Health

Elderly Patients Want Docs To Explain Technology

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
2 of 9
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT Careers: Top 10 US Cities for Tech Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/14/2020
Predictions for Cloud Computing in 2020
James Kobielus, Research Director, Futurum,  1/9/2020
What's Next: AI and Data Trends for 2020 and Beyond
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/30/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Flash Poll