I don’t like messages “pushed” at me online. But I’ve found a resource – Medivizor.com – that does exactly that, yet benefits me. Medivizor sources the specific things I’m interested to learn more about in diabetes, and sends them directly to me.
Medivizor is a new and unique online health information service that personalizes health information for patients, caregivers and medical professionals, and sends it to you via email. The service is free and the information is specific and relevant to your condition, situation, needs and interests.
Currently, Medivizor covers over 400 conditions, including pre-diabetes, type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. It also covers the majority of cancers including breast, prostate, colorectal, lung, and melanoma, and cardiovascular diseases, and infertility and reproductive technologies.
The founders of Medivizor each came to realize, through personal experience, just how overwhelming and daunting finding relevant, specific, timely and understandable information can be. Further, most cutting-edge information is written for medical professionals and researchers, which makes it almost unintelligible for we mere humans trying to interpret clinical and research studies. Then there’s finding just what you’re looking for and knowing if what you find can be trusted. Finally, as the founders of Medivizor quickly discovered, staying up to date on information is difficult and enormously time-consuming.
Tal Givoly, Medivizor CEO, says when one becomes sick or a caregiver, they also immediately become a researcher. So much time and focus is spent on managing a disease, people shouldn’t have to become “chronic web researchers.”
Last year the American Diabetes Association guidelines changed, and now the strong recommendation for health care professionals is to treat people with diabetes individually, no more “one size treatment fits all.” Following more individualized treatment, it certainly makes sense that personalized health information will become increasingly necessary and regarded as a valuable tool.
How Medivizor works
You sign up on the site and answer several questions describing yourself and your medical condition(s). Behind the scenes, Medivizor uses patented technology. And with a panel of medical experts, gathers and parses, translates, updates and dispenses personalized health information relevant to you.
Medivizor sends you an email – typically one page of information written in layman’s terms with a capsule summary. Since Medivizor only sends what’s relevant to your specific situation, you may receive only two emails a month, or you may receive quite a few more.
You also receive additions and updates to the information as soon as they become available and notifications if information you’ve received is later deemed incorrect. Further, you can choose to send the information you receive to your doctor right from the site or discuss it with other Medivizor users.
It shouldn’t be surprising that today millions of Americans search for health information online. In fact, 85 million people are clicking away according to the Pew Research Center.
Steve Kaplan, MD and Chief Medical Officer of Medivizor, told me, “Perhaps the worst for doctors in this information age are patients who self-diagnose based on misinformation they read online. Many stop treatment and do themselves harm. Weekly, I’m treating confused and scared patients because of something they’ve read online that’s wrong or doesn’t apply to them.”
Another service of Medivizor is for those doctors who recommend the site to their patients. They’ll receive the same information that’s sent to their patients. Yet, they won’t see any of their patients’ personal profiles.
“For health care professionals up against the demands of staying on top of more than 5,000 research papers annually in their own specialty,” said Dr. Kaplan, “and huge amounts of information outside it, health professionals can now stay abreast of the latest developments and have information at their fingertips that applies to each of their patients. And, when doctors and their patients both have the same relevant information, it makes the office visit much more valuable.”
Medivizor doesn’t send quantities of static, established background information that you see on most sites like the American Diabetes Association, Mayo Clinic and WebMD. Givoly says, “We want to help you find the needle in the haystack, the thing that’s relevant for you, by sending dynamic, current information from trials, research and new findings.”
The advantage of specificity Givoly explained in this example: think about the significant difference between a fifteen year old active boy who has asthma and has just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes searching for information and a twenty eight year old pregnant woman, who’s trying to keep her type 1 diabetes well managed during her pregnancy.
As Medivizor continues to grow and cover additional medical conditions, they want to learn what’s needed from you. If Medivizor doesn’t yet cover your medical condition, they ask you to sign up now so they will know where to expand their services. You’ll receive a notice when they do cover your condition.
Also, the service is HIPAA compliant and private. Your profile and information will not be shared.
“In the end,” says Dr. Kaplan, “we want patients to have a greater stake in their healthcare. We know those are the patients who do best.”
Disclosure: I have not been paid or compensated in any way for writing this post.