The self-diagnosed patient and e-health

The self-diagnosed patient and e-health

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About 300 years ago Voltaire, philosopher and French writer, told us that “The art of medicine consists in entertaining the patient while nature cures the disease. ” This statement has been evolving at a dizzying pace, which sometimes seems to have crossed the threshold that made it human. Now, instead of relying on the nature of the cure of the disease or the science and knowledge of the professional, we have placed unconditional trust in any Internet search engine that we consider omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.


  • 1 Today's patients
  • 2 I know what happens, and now what?
  • 3 In the digital self-diagnosis who is in danger is your e-health

Patients today

The current patient has changed, he no longer comes with the uncertainty of knowing what happens to him, from a natural and proportionate doubt. When we open the door, we see someone with a name and a label of what is happening, and even a list of symptoms. Of course you already "know" the possible treatments you are waiting to receive and not only that, as He has read a lot about it, sometimes he seems to be simply looking to reconfirm his belief in diagnosis, as if it were a research project.

The Internet has become security and panic, knowledge and chaos, information and information. We binge informatively that we cannot digest losing the ability to recognize when that information is in poor condition and it will generate indigestion or even make us sick more. We have placed so much power to an algorithm of a search engine that has taken away our confidence in the essential, in professionals, in opinions, in interpersonal relationships and even in our own critical capacity to realize what we do with our health.

Health in general and mental health in particular should not be held hostage to quick and cheap diagnoses, both because of the danger that this entails and because of an aspect of self-care and good personal treatment. Taking charge of what happens to us, from the honesty, commitment and dedication necessary to solve it, is a symptom of a healthy relationship with ourselves and with our disease.

I know what happens, and now what?

Well now, in our patient-professional relationship we have to start breaking down barriers on both sides, to reach the really important thing, the reason for impolite and refined consultation.

The distrust of the patient translates into remoteness and fear becomes a covert panic. For the professional, the rejection and perceived non-validation make what should be a tacit agreement of teamwork, become a personal struggle where the initial loss is greater than the benefit.

More than 80% of Internet users access the Internet in search of answers to what happens to them at the Health level.

The data tell us, that only 30% of the time the search engine is right in the diagnosis in the medical field. In the area of ​​psychological problems and disorders, being multiaxial evaluations, it is impossible for a technological algorithm to reach that precision and validity, most importantly, the human gaze. The human role is irreplaceable in this aspect, because that ability to discern and treat the person as unique, with a diagnosis and individualized study and through a human treatment, can only be done with another human gaze.

In the digital self diagnosis who is in danger is your e-health

The quick, the immediate, the necessary explanation that seems to calm us down and believe we find magic remedies, seems like the perfect recipe for why to use a resource at the click of a click, however, there essential loss that has to do with the kind of relationship we are establishing with us and therefore with the world. It has to do with our self-care, with attending to our needs in an adult way, looking for real solutions through a therapeutic relationship based on trust and acceptance, dedicating the necessary time to take care of what happens, allowing us to feel and suffer according to each process, and looking at us from the confidence in our own resources to repair and rebuild what is necessary. A look with love to ourselves and our problems will prevent us from falling into the easy band that only causes the wound to stop being seen for a few seconds.

Need for a pact between the new model of e-health and the human

The current patient follows a consumer behavior, although in the health field, expert in what happens and critical vigilant of each symptom.

Therefore, for me, "the art of medicine and especially in the field of mental health, much of the therapeutic value is based on trust and commitment, and both factors are not approachable from that dehumanized view of a mathematical algorithm" .