Monday, December 1, 2014

Acupuncture or Prescription Medication

"Patient QI was created with a single objective – to provide patients, with as much information as possible to enable them to make choices and create a coordinated personalised health treatment strategy." 
Christine Perry, founder and editor of Patient Qi

Today's episode and blog post is called a "short".  Which means a fun and lively 20 minute episode.  Something that can be easily listened to on the way to work.  Something to get you excited about your day!

Lets be honest. The health care system has failed in so many countries and places. It's not just the United States. Christine Perry, founder of Patient Qi, is from Europe and is just as disillusioned as the rest of the world.  It was because of inadequacies she found in the health care system that inspired her to create a solution.  A solution that would enable a patient to understand all the possible health care modalities and therapies that could benefit them.  Therapies that are scientifically and clinically proven to work.  Something more than just a google search.

Why is it that a patient only gets 5 to 10 minutes with their doctor to discuss their health? There is just enough time to either prescribe a medication or refer that patient to another specialist.  In.  Out.  Next.

Here's the thing, maybe, just maybe, 5-10 minutes would be ok if that physician listened to the patient. A study from the University of South Carolina found that the primary care patients were only able to speak, for on an average, 12 seconds to the physician before being interrupted.  Patient Qi empowers the patient to ask questions.  Things like "I understand I have high blood pressure but I'd like to try meditation or yoga first."

Below is an example from Patient Qi on gout.  Doctors really only have a small arsenal of tools to their disposal for something like gout.  The doctor can aspirate the joint and put the fluid under a microscope to make a definitive diagnosis (which hurts like hell and would most likely be diagnosed by a quick interaction with the patient discussing age, diet, medical history, and family history.  Then palpitation and visual examination of joint.  Voilà GOUT). Treatment can be administered as a steroidal injection into the joint to alleviate inflammation and pain. Opioid pain medication to dull the senses. Steroidal pack to decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain. And lastly, a prescription of colchicine, a chemical compound found in tulip bulb. Also known as Shan Ci Gu in Chinese medicine.

Treatment strategies for Gout on  Just click on desired therapy for more information.

What Christine in visions and has created is a much more fluid and patient friendly interactive diagram of possible treatment modalities for the patient to choose from.  The user on the webpage could click the desired method of therapy they wanted to try, such as "Traditional Medicine".  User is then presented with a list of treatments and peer reviewed literature to support the use of that treatment method.  Under "Traditional Medicine" is acupuncture, moxa, electrical acupuncture, and homeopathy.

Even Christine will admit that this is a work in progress.  Imagine trying to sift through the millions and millions of possible treatment methods and then to combine those with certain symptoms.  But it is a database worth dreaming for and striving for.

Christine Perry is founder of Patient Qi, a medical writer, and medical translator.  She specializes in microimmunotherapy.
You can follow her and her database of integrative therapies at

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