Is Telemedicine Right for You?


Telemedicine a creative way to provide interactive healthcare through modern technology and communications. It allows all kinds of patients to visit with their concerned physicians live over video in order to communicate their current health status or any sickness that they are facing. The concept of this technology is to provide immediate care, especially for those patients who find it hard to go to the doctor physically. Telemedicine serves you more by capturing the video and still shots that are saved and sent to physicians so that the condition is duly understood and diagnosis and follow up treatment is done accordingly. The overall idea of telemedicine is to improve the patient’s clinical health status.

Telemedicine, also known as telehealth started around 40 years ago by very few hospitals to help those who live in remote areas. However, it is not a separate medical specialty it’s just an enhanced technology. Through telemedicine, patients can do a lot of things with the latest technology like remote monitoring of vital signs, e-health including patient portals, continuing medical education, consumer-focused wireless applications and nursing call centers. With telemedicine, patients can get diagnosis immediately instead of having to make an appointment and waiting longer for an answer.

Telemedicine is right for anyone, but if you relate it to any of the following then it is an even better option. Being homebound is tough, especially for chronic patients. However, if you are homebound then telemedicine can help you to send data to your physician so you don’t suffer from any pain to go to them. By using telemedicine, the patient can send specific vital signs like blood glucose and heart ECG to their physician at any time to have constant monitoring. This can help to have more accurate and faster results. It also helps to have faster diagnosis and it makes sure that the patient is not getting worse day by day.

Telemedicine also helps in connecting with specialists. Does your specialist live 20 minutes away? 30? 40 or more? Also, less hospital visits! If you need to be under constant watch then in most cases you usually end up in a hospital, but here you have another alternative. Hospitals always need more beds, but you don’t need to be in one! Telemedicine provides constant care and you can stay with your family instead of being stuck in a hospital. You can relax at home and be able to monitor your illness in a peaceful environment surrounded by those you love.

Works Cited

1., Inc. – What Is Telemedicine?”, Inc. – What Is Telemedicine?, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2015.

2. “What Is Telemedicine?” What Is Telemedicine. American Telemedicine Association, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2015.

3. N.d. Ally Health. Web. 8 Apr. 2015.


What is Acute Kidney Failure?


Acute kidney failure is when the kidneys are unable to filter waste products from the blood. Also referred to as acute renal failure or acute kidney injury. The kidneys also lose their ability to filter the blood which can lead to dangerous amounts of waste accumulation. The accumulation can lead to your blood’s chemical make up to become unbalanced. Acute kidney failure happens rapidly; typically over a few hours or days. This type of illness typically occurs if the person is already hospitalized and is critically ill. Since this illness deals with very important organs, it can be fatal and needs extensive treatment. Shown below is an image both showing and explaining the differences between a healthy kidney and an effected kidney.

There is hope! Acute kidney failure’s symptoms can be reversed if you are healthy before getting it. Some causes of kidney failure are: conditions where blood flow takes longer to reach the kidneys, direct damage to the kidneys, or kidney’s urine drainage tubes become blocked. Many types of cancers like bladder cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer can cause the last cause of kidney failure to occur. If you have any of these types of cancers, keep a look out for the following symptoms. Symptoms for kidney failure are: fatigue, confusion, decreased urine output, fluid retention, drowsiness, shortness of breath, nausea, seizures, comas, and chest pains. Keep a look out for any of these symptoms in order to prevent further damage to your kidneys and your body!

Works Cited

1. “Acute Kidney Failure.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic Staff, 06 July 2012.

2. N.d. Human Body. Web. 21 Feb. 2015.

What to Eat While Dealing with Cancer


Cancer is an illness that affects many functions of the body including how the body processes nutrients. The person with cancer can experience a number of symptoms like loss of appetite or diarrhea. In order to help you or a close one who has cancer make good decisions on your/their next meal, here’s some tips! Each type of cancer needs a different diet in order to supplement what the body is losing. However for most people, their diet should include large amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. There should be moderate amounts of meat and milk products. Also, consume small amounts of fat, sugar, alcohol and salt.

Another tip is to include more protein and calorie rich foods if your body needs more than usual. This includes eggs, milk, and cheese. Sometimes, the patient will have trouble swallowing and chewing. A tip for this issue is to include more gravies and sauces in your diet. They are easier to eat, but can contain lots of flavor and nutrients if made right. Avoid any kinds of drinks that have bubbles like soda. They can make the person have bloating and heartburn. If the patient is experiencing frequent nausea, add some ginger to their diet. Ginger can come in capsules which are easier to digest and help reduce nausea. Hopefully some of these tips will help!

Works Cited

1. “Eating Hints: Before, During, and After Cancer Treatment.” National Cancer Institute. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 9 June 2012. Web. 21 Feb. 2015.

2. N.d. Healthmonitor. Web. 21 Feb. 2015.

10 Medical Mistakes that can be avoided !

Medical Mistakes

When you’re a patient, you trust you’re in good hands, but even the best doctor or nurse can make a mistake on you or someone you love. The harm is often avoidable, and there are strategies you can use to help doctors and nurses get things right

#1 Mistake: Treating the wrong patient

  • Cause: Hospital staff fails to verify a patient’s identity.
  • Consequences: Patients with similar names are confused.
  • Prevention: Before every procedure in the hospital, make sure the staff checks your entire name, date of birth and barcode on your wrist band.

#2 Mistake: Surgical souvenirs

  • Cause: Surgical staff miscounts (or fails to count) equipment used inside a patient during an operation.
  • Consequences: Tools get left inside the body.
  • Prevention: If you have unexpected pain, fever or swelling after surgery, ask if you might have a surgical instrument inside you.

#3 Mistake: Lost patients

  • Cause: Patients with dementia are sometimes prone to wandering.
  • Consequences: Patients may become trapped while wandering and die from hypothermia or dehydration.
  • Prevention: If your loved one sometimes wanders, consider a GPS tracking bracelet.
  1. Mistake: Fake doctors
  • Cause: Con artists pretend to be doctors.
  • Consequences: Medical treatments backfire. Instead of getting better, patients get sicker.
  • Prevention: Confirm online that your physician is licensed.
  1. Mistake: The ER waiting game
  • Cause: Emergency rooms get backed up when overcrowded hospitals don’t have enough beds.
  • Consequences: Patients get sicker while waiting for care.
  • Prevention: Doctors listen to other doctors, so on your way to the hospital call your physician and ask them to call the emergency room.
  1. Mistake: Air bubbles in blood
  • Cause: The hole in a patient’s chest isn’t sealed airtight after a chest tube is removed.
  • Consequences: Air bubbles get sucked into the wound and cut off blood supply to the patient’s lungs, heart, kidneys and brain. Left uncorrected the patient dies.
  • Prevention: If you have a central line tube in you, ask how you should be positioned when the line comes out.
  1. Mistake: Operating on the wrong body part
  • Cause: A patient’s chart is incorrect, or a surgeon misreads it, or surgical draping obscures marks that denote the correct side of the operation.
  • Consequences: The surgeon cuts into the wrong side of a patient’s body.
  • Prevention: Just before surgery, make sure you reaffirm with the nurse and the surgeon the correct body part and side of your operation.
  1. Mistake: Infection infestation
  • Cause: Doctors and nurses don’t wash their hands.
  • Consequences: Patients can die from infections spread by hospital workers.
  • Prevention: It may be uncomfortable to ask, but make sure doctors and nurses wash their hands before they touch you, even if they’re wearing gloves.
  1. Mistake: Lookalike tubes
  • Cause: A chest tube and a feeding tube can look a lot alike.
  • Consequences: Medicine meant for the stomach goes into the chest.
  • Prevention: When you have tubes in you, ask the staff to trace every tube back to the point of origin so the right medicine goes to the right place.
  1. Mistake: Waking up during surgery
  • Cause: An under-dose of anesthesia.
  • Consequences: The brain stays awake while the muscles stay frozen. Most patients aren’t in any pain but some feel every poke, prod and cut.
  • Prevention: When you schedule surgery, ask your surgeon if you need to be put asleep or if a local anesthetic might work just as well.

Do you have a personal story to tell about a medical mistake? Share it in the comments section below or email us on

Cold and Flu – Prevention and Treatment

flu prevention

Flu is easy to catch, but also easy to prevent .

The flu is a communicable disease. Everyone knows what it is and they are afraid to catch it yet many people do not take steps to prevent it. The most effective way to prevent yourself from catching the flu, like most 5-20% of U.S. residents do, you must get the flu shot vaccine. You can conveniently get it at most pharmacies like CVS , Walgreens etc if you are unable to go to your regular doctor. According to the CDC or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu vaccine protects you from three or four common viruses. However, there are other steps you can take to prevent catching this contagious respiratory illness.

Wash your hands and cover your mouth while you cough! It helps to prevent spreading of germs, especially if you are going to populated places during the day like the grocery store or work. Also, try to avoid being too close to those who are sick. If you have children who are sick, clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in order to prevent yourself or others from catching it. Of course, drinking plenty of fluids and eating healthy helps your body prevent catching the flu. If you do happen to catch it, you can also take antiviral drugs prescribed by your doctor to lessen the effects and shorten the time of being sick. The flu is easy to catch, but also easy to prevent if you follow some of these tips!

Works Cited

1. “CDC Says “Take 3″ Actions To Fight The Flu.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 09 Sept. 2014.

2. “Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Aug. 2014.

3. N.d. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web. 3 Feb. 2015.

Telemedicine: Saving Lives 

Being able to reach an expert across the miles and getting the right care is the biggest advantage of telemedicine


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Living in a remote place, no access to good medical experts and you are facing multiple health issues and need some good expert opinion. Which is the best way now to reach out to experts- travelling across the miles or telemedicine? Yes Telemedicine today has a great promise- to bring an expert’s opinion to your door step, cutting costs and helping save lives.

In India today there are various efforts being made to implement different models of telemedicine. The Gujarat government is trying to implement their telemedicine project by tying up with private hospitals in Canada. The Indian health ministry is going to launch a National Medical College Network where all the government medical colleges will be interlinked so they can form a telemedicine network and help fill in the scarcity of doctors in rural areas. Telemedicine has indeed become the need of the hour today.


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What exactly is telemedicine? Does it mean talking to the doctor on the phone, communicating through other modes like email or is it a complete process of consultation across the miles. Earlier it just meant transferring medical records via electronic media among experts to provide patients the best care but today according to World Health Organisation, telemedicine is defined as, “The delivery of healthcare services, where distance is a critical factor, by all healthcare professionals using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research and evaluation, and for continuing education of healthcare providers, all in the interests of advancing the health of individuals and their communities”.


The need for telemedicine arises in several situations. It is not just needed for people who live in remote areas and need expert opinions and care but also in case of emergencies. Imagine the emergency room of a hospital where many patients get admitted in a critical state. The duty doctors manage to stabilize them but beyond that the patient needs some expert care depending on his or her condition. This is where telemedicine can play an important role and these doctors could reach out to experts at the critical hour, discuss the patient’s case and provide the right care which could help in saving the life of the patient. One great example of this is Global med which has a platform called eNcounter which allows the emergency doctors to share a CT scan and real image of the patient with a remote specialist and seek his or her opinion on whether the patient needs more specialized care and needs to be shifted to a bigger hospital with better facilities.



Image source- mossadams

A very important aspect of telemedicine is collecting patient information. A lot of the patient’s personal data is collected and used to maintain patient records. But the million dollar question is about how secure this data. A classic example of this is the case of hospital in Brighton Massachusetts has HIPAA violations for having shared patient information through unsecured methods. A USB flash drive and laptop had been used for this purpose.

But now there is an app for this purpose which helps to share patient information over a secure portal. This is called eNcounter and in this app the patient info is shared on a cloud and never on a resident computer or laptop. Only authorised people have access to this information and if a person forgets to shut the computer before leaving then within a few minutes the app shuts off automatically. It is very important to protect patient date which is confidential and people are always trying to get hold of this kind of information.



Image source- businesskorea

One field in which telemedicine is making great strides is paediatric care. Although it seems that telemedicine works the same way for both adults and children but the field of paediatrics has benefitted greatly from telemedicine.

Health- E- Access is a telemedicine program based in Rochester started by Dr Neil Herendeen which provides video conference doctor visits to children directly to their schools and day care centres. They use tools like digital stethoscopes, high definition cameras, physicians and nurses at the Golisano Children’s hospital to make routine diagnosis of common childhood problems and to communicate their finding and recommendations to the parents. This app since 2001 has seen a 63% reduction in preschool absences due to illness and a 23% reduction in evening-hours emergency room visits.


Telemedicine benefits both the patient can doctors alike. For the patients the benefits include-

  • Better outcomes because of timely access to specialists and right kind of treatment.
  • Reduction in unnecessary admission to hospitals
  • Avoiding moving from one place to another because the expert is able to suggest treatment in the local area itself.

For doctors the benefits include-

  • Facility to extend their care and expertise to people in remote areas
  • Save time travelling from one place to another seeing patients
  • Emergency room physicians can reach out to experts and seek their opinion to give patients better care
  • Develop good relationships with doctors and facilities in remote areas.


Today there are several portals offering different kinds of platforms for telemedicine. Since we live in an era of Skype and what’s app, people only look for options to reach out to experts online. Grandopinion is one such portal which is a virtual clinic and helps both patients and doctors reach out to experts who are on board. If a patient needs a medical opinion he or she can share records with the experts and they within a limited period of time offer their opinion. The patient information is kept secured and only experts have access to it. Similarly if the doctor wants to speak to the experts for an opinion also they can access the services on this portal which is a true example of telemedicine.

A boon to all, telemedicine is the most necessary tool in today’s era when medicine has advanced so much and people want the best care to be easily accessible to them.

Seeking Help of Doctor for Advanced Healthcare

When it comes to dealing with critical diseases it definitely helps to take the help of a doctor to take a second opinion.

Making a decision regarding your health is probably one of the most important decisions in a person’s life. You have just been diagnosed with a critical disease, the expert has advised you a certain line of treatment but you are still confused and distraught. Lots of questions in your mind and you are still not sure whether to go with what the experts have said. This is a time when you should seek your doctor’s help in not just getting another opinion but also to understand about your problem, the lines of treatment, prognosis and other implications if any. It is of prime importance to be well informed before deciding your line of treatment.


A healthcare decision may not be the easiest decision for you to make. There may be several reasons when you may need to reach out to another doctor to understand your problem better and to take a proper decision about your line of treatment. These reasons could range from a misdiagnosis to being asked to undergo an unnecessary surgery or maybe there are not enough advanced health care facilities in your area or it could be your own distrust in the medical system and your gut feeling asking you to take a second opinion.


According to a study done by the BMJ Journal of Quality and Safety 12 million adults in the US are misdiagnosed every year which means that 1 out of 20 adults are misdiagnosed and can even be harmed due to this misdiagnosis. According to a study done by JAMA in 2012 the main reasons for misdiagnosis include ordering wrong diagnostic tests, the patient not providing the correct medical history and a wrong interpretation of a test result by the doctor.

According to Kaiser News, 28 percent of 583 diagnostic errors were either proved fatal or ended in a permanent disability. Some of the most common conditions which are misdiagnosed include heart attacks, cancer, celiac disease, stroke, depression, thyroid conditions, fibromyalgia , pulmonary embolism to name a few.

If you have just been given a diagnosis and have your doubts on it, just head to another doctor – a specialist with all your reports, give them your entire history and understand your health condition and whether your diagnosis is correct or not.


One of the main reasons why people need to seek further help for their healthcare is because of the lack of specialty healthcare services in their area. People living in the rural areas of India and in smaller cities end up travelling to the bigger metro cities to seek advanced healthcare because they know they will get the best in big cities. If your primary healthcare physician has just given you a diagnosis of a major health problem, it is better you go to better well equipped hospital, meet a specialist and try to understand what you are going through. The specialist may advise you further tests or may just look at your current reports and tell you about your diagnosis, the options for treatments you have, the prognosis and any other info you need to know. It is indeed important that if you live in a city which lacks access to specialty health care and if you are diagnosed with a critical health issue you immediately reach out for some help from a better equipped centre. A Lancet Study shows that 3.6 lakh children below the age of five die pre term every year because of the lack of proper healthcare facilities in their area.


If your doctor has just told you that you need a surgery, please don’t say a yes unless it is an absolute emergency. Time and again we hear that doctors are performing tens of thousands of unnecessary surgeries which instead of helping patients get better end up creating other complications for them. According to USA Today a dermatologist Michael Rosin was sentenced to 22 years of imprisonment and fined $ 7 million because he repeatedly and intentionally misdiagnosed patients with skin cancer so he could perform surgeries on them. Being advised an unnecessary surgery is one of the main reasons why people seek help of other specialists for opinions to understand the conditions, weigh their options and decide if they really need a surgery or not. The most commonly advised surgeries which may be unnecessary include cardiac angioplasties for stents, pacemakers, hysterectomies, knee and hip replacement surgeries and caesarean sections.


According to a study done by the National Institute of Health America on 961 adults, 20% to 80% of the respondents said they had a lot of distrust on the healthcare system. This distrust is due to various reasons including misdiagnosis, unnecessary tests and surgeries.

Seeking your doctor’s help for advanced healthcare depends on your situation. If you are in a smaller town it could help to head to a bigger city to seek better opinions and excellent health care facilities. On the other hand if you have been diagnosed with a critical problem like cancer and you hear of better treatment options abroad and can afford it then also you can seek the help of a doctor in understanding if you should opt for treatment abroad and where you should go.


An alarming diagnosis, a painful line of treatment advised by your doctor has just left you totally confused and distraught. At a time like this you may just want a good second opinion and may want to hear that after all your condition is not so bad and is treatable. GrandOpinion ( is one such portal which aims at providing speedy second opinions to people. It is just like reaching out to a doctor for a second opinion. Here the doctors are online and once you file your reports, they quickly take a look and immediately revert to you about your diagnosis and advise you on your treatment options. Sitting here in India you could easily get an opinion from a doctor in the United States and the best option for treatments as well.

Medical negligence – Are you getting accurate diagnosis?

Atul and Nalini (names changed) were over the moon on arrival of their new-born son. The delivery happened at a leading hospital in Coimbatore. But shortly, their joy turned into grief. Their new born son lost his eyesight due to sheer negligence in administering IV (Intravenous) by the duty nurse. The baby developed bacterial infections which spread to the eyes and thereby losing sight. Had there been timely intervention by doctors, this situation would not have arised.

Medical Negligence:

Medical Negligence is defined as professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment is below the prescribed standard causing injury or death of the patient. Majorly, Medical Negligence includes

  • Misdiagnosis,
  • Wrong medication dosage,
  • Inappropriate Medication prescription
  • Error in health management,
  • Leaving things inside the patient’s body after surgery
  • Operating on the wrong part of the body
  • Laxity in treatment or aftercare.
  • Infection due to medical tools like used Injections and Expired Medicine Dosages.

The mentioned medical errors might happen because nothing was done, something was neglected or there might be laxity in the medical treatment and procedures.

Lot of us presume that medical negligence cases happen only in the developing south Asian countries. But the truth is every part of the world is dealing with this medical malpractice. Let’s look into a recent case of medical malpractice held Tufts Medical Center, Boston, one of the top hospitals in the city which is focussed on providing excellent patient care. When Caroline Carcerano arrived there to get relieve from a back injury in November, 2013, she also underwent a tragic medical error.  The neurosurgeon actually requested for some special dye to test the location of tubing that had been threaded into her spine. But due to the absence of the prescribed dye, the pharmacy provided a different one. The surgeon injected it twice after checking the label himself and Caroline died the following day.

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But can all premature death be termed as medical negligence?

The answer is No. Not at all premature deaths can be termed as medical negligence. Only when there is considerable evidence of disregard in treatment or lapse in medical judgement, you can hold the hospital accountable.

Let us take this tragic example of Australian cricketer of Phil Hughes died under harrowing circumstances while playing cricket on field. Inspite of best efforts and immediate medical care, Hughes could not be saved. This was definitely not medical negligence.

Apart from this, there are instances when the patient is dealing with life and death situations, in that cases, prior to surgery, patients are warned of the risks involved and consent is taken on the same. Also if the patient fails to follow the post-surgery instructions and land up to a worse condition, then also the doctor is not liable for the situation.

Few Facts on Medical Negligence –

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer.

As per a report by McKeen and Associates, PC in 2013; “Medical malpractice, which included Medical Fatalities, Infection Deaths, Fatalities caused by unnecessary surgeries and hospital errors, accounted for more unnatural deaths each year than all of the other causes combined”.

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Image Source: McKeen & Associates, P.C.

Did you know that 1 in 10 patient’s safety is compromised while receiving hospital care? Over 1.4 million people worldwide suffer from hospital acquired infections. Studies show that at least 50% of medical equipment in developing countries is unusable or only partly usable due to lack of knowledge on how to use. As a result, substandard diagnosis or treatment is meted out to patients and may result in serious injury or death.

Every year, unsafe injections cause 1.3 million deaths, primarily due to transmission of blood-borne pathogens such as hepatitis B, C virus and HIV. Problems associated with surgical safety in developed countries account for half adverse events that result in death or disability. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.—right behind heart disease and cancer.”

Legal Aspect of Medical Negligence:

In legal terms, negligence is the breach of legal duty where the situation mandates carefulness. Medical negligence is the breach of duty committed by the people, who are providing medical services.  There are four elements of medical negligence:

Duty: The Doctor owes its patient the Duty of Care , one the doctor/patient relation is established and must treat the patient same as other doctor would have done under similar situation with the medical procedures acceptable in medical community.

Breach of Duty: The doctor who had the duty of care failed in executing it by not exercising the degree of care or medical skill that another healthcare professional in the same specialty would have used in an equal situation.

Damage: The patient had suffered from physical or mental injury under the care of the healthcare practitioner.

Cause: There must be proof of breach of duty by the doctor for the patient’s injury.


Enactment of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has brought into light of numerous cases related medical negligence cases.  Due the awareness in society on the protection of rights of the consumer, many patients are now filing cases against their healthcare practitioner who showed medical negligence in their duty.

But the question arises that what else can be done apart this. Though Medical malpractice law provides a way for patients to recover compensation from any harms resulting from sub-standard treatment, but the negligence already had caused the physical or emotional injury on the patient when going legal.

Get a second opinion – It is always beneficial to take a second opinion when diagnosed with a serious condition. So, don’t be afraid to find a new doctor if you feel that you are not receiving proper medical care. Your health is of paramount importance. Though there are protection and legal laws against medical negligence, but it is always advisable not to take risk with your health and it is too important to provide it to the one who is not giving you adequate time, attention and medication.

In an event of mis-diagnosis or lack of trust on the existing diagnosis, GrandOpinion helps patient and their family to cross verify the whole treatment plan at their convenience in order to avoid such untoward situations. GrandOpinion facilitates medical opinion for patients who need a second diagnosis and choose appropriate medical treatment.