Advice. We all need it, but sometimes it isn’t helpful. Whether you’re trying to decide what camera to buy or need help choosing health insurance, just about everyone can use a little bit of advice now and then.
When it comes to health technology, everyone is an expert. After all, the industry is still fairly young. And with numerous companies creating new devices and software every year, there will always be someone who knows more than you.
But sometimes, the advice can come from unexpected places. Sometimes we need to hear what actually worked for people instead of the glossy marketing speak that can make or break a sale. So here are some of the worst advice we’ve heard for health technology.
Don’t Underestimate Big Data
When it comes to data and analytics, some industries might call this “predictive analytics.” But, in the healthcare industry, it’s more commonly known as “Big Data.” As healthcare IT experts, we’re always told to keep up with the latest technological advancements, but it’s important to remember that Big Data isn’t something that should be constantly chased after. In many cases, it isn’t even necessary.
By looking into the past and analyzing trends, you can get a good idea of what will happen in the future. And in some cases, you can even use this information to predict future outcomes. But, as with any tool or technology, there are times when this information can be a little bit overwhelming.
For instance, if you’re looking into a new medication and want to know what other patients have had to say about it, chances are you will find a lot of information. But how much of it is actually going to be useful? And how much of it is going to make you sick? There are times when Big Data can be a blessing, but it depends on what you’re looking for. In many cases, simpler tools or manual methods of collecting data can work just as well, if not better. Sometimes less is more.
Embrace The Change
With everything from new medical devices to changes in insurance coverage, there are always many moving parts when it comes to healthcare. And that can make following advice even more difficult. Some suggest waiting until you’ve tried a new treatment or procedure before making a decision, but that can be difficult. In many cases, you’ll have to decide to change something now before your health starts to deteriorate.
When it comes to advising on health technology, there will always be people who say that you should try this new medication or procedure or do surgery instead. But that doesn’t mean you have to embrace everything they suggest. Just because someone else is doing something doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you. In many cases, it depends on your personal situation. There are times when following someone else’s advice can make things easier, but at the same time, there are also times when it can cause more problems. It’s always best to determine the best choice for you and your family based on your unique circumstances.
Focus On What You Can Control
In the grand scheme of things, a lot of what happens in your health that you can’t control. There’s always something, but sometimes it feels like there’s nothing you can do. This hopeless, helpless feeling can take much of life’s joy. On the other hand, there are things that you can control. You can control how you eat, how you exercise, and what you read or watch. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also control your mental health. In many cases, this is where spending a little money can make a big difference. Investing in good health and wellness products is important if you want to control your health and make the most of your limited time on this earth.
Don’t Overuse Medical Technology
New technology comes with great benefits. Improved blood pressure readings, weight loss, disease diagnosis, and treatment are just a few examples of how technology has improved health care. The ability to perform scans and tests from anywhere has made healthcare accessible to those who previously could not comfortably visit a hospital or clinic. And the cost of maintaining a hospital bed or individual physician visits has decreased as a result.
But none of this matters if the technology is overused. The same happened with the internet and email when they arrived on the scene. Now, we can’t go a day without checking our email, and many hospitals offer online appointment scheduling to their patients. The same thing will happen with any new healthcare technology if it’s not used properly. Overuse leads to poor adoption and an underwhelming return on investment. It requires time and effort to ensure it’s properly adopted and integrated into the medical ecosystem.
Hubris is the excessive pride or arrogance that leads to downfall. It is the “overconfidence in one’s intellectual or physical capacities, as manifested in an arrogant or overbearing attitude or behavior.” A bit of hubris can be good if it is not excessive. But it can also be dangerous if it leads to bad decision-making or a lack of critical thinking. Hubris in medicine often manifests as overconfident treatment recommendations or advice. Overly-enthusiastic physicians and healthcare providers can lead patients down the wrong path if they aren’t careful.
As a patient, if you hear a medical professional offering unsolicited advice on what products or tools you should use to manage your disease, you are probably being advised by a healthcare professional who is displaying signs of hubris. You’re not expected to self-diagnose or treat yourself. Be humble enough to accept medical guidance, but don’t be afraid to question it if you don’t understand the reasoning behind a certain recommendation.
Understand The Context
Context is everything. It is important to understand your situation before making any kind of decision. The advice you’re being given may not apply to everyone. For example, if you’re being advised to watch what you eat by your physician, but you are already aware of this and have made the commitment to change your lifestyle, then it may not be the wisest advice to keep listening to your doctor. It could be that there is already someone in your circle of family and friends who is offering the same advice, and in that case, it might not even be worth it to listen to your physician. You should weigh the pros and cons of every decision you make and only act on those from which you feel you can benefit. If there is ambiguity about the applicability of certain advice, it isn’t worth following it.
Consider Everyone’s Perspective
When considering advice, it is important to remember the perspectives of those giving it and those hearing it. Listening to and understanding the perspectives outside of it can be hard if you’re in the medical community. This is why it is important to be patient and considerate when listening to others’ opinions. In the same way that your body is a complex machine that requires proper care and feeding to operate at its best, your health and well-being depend on you taking good care of it. This means you must be responsible for your health and seek medical help only when needed. It is easy for others to offer unsolicited advice when they don’t have to face the same consequences as you do. But as a patient, it is your duty to put your health first and take good care of yourself to better support your body’s natural healing process.
Know The Differences In Purpose
What is the primary purpose of the advice being given? Is it to help you understand your disease better so that you can treat yourself, or is it to determine whether or not you actually have the disease in question? Some medical professionals may be more concerned with treating your disease than explaining it to you. This can lead to misdiagnosis and wrong treatment if you aren’t careful. Only you can decide what is most important to you and your situation. It is also important to know the differences in each professional’s field of expertise before you ask them for advice. For example, a physician may be best suited to diagnose your illness, while an epidemiologist can provide guidance on how to prevent it. Once you know the differences in purpose, you can be more discerning in deciding which advice to follow.
Think Of The Long Term
As humans, we are naturally drawn to immediate gratification. This is why many of us are so quick to click on that bargain-basement sales pitch or pop-up ad that promises to “guarantee your complete satisfaction” if you buy their product. While it is important to be mindful of what is in front of you when making any purchase, it is equally important to consider what you will do later. In the long term, it is much better to be responsible for your own health than to rely on fast food meals that leave you bloated and unsatisfied.
Avoid Falling Into These Pitfalls
When it comes to our health, we are often told what to do and not to do. But just because some people say it doesn’t mean it is true. There is a plethora of conflicting information, and it can be difficult to know where to put our trust. But if we are overly worried about following the “wrong” advice, or worse—if we don’t even seek medical help when we need it—we are doing our bodies more harm than good. Ultimately, it is up to us as patients to make the right choices for our health and well-being, and that starts with proper guidance from those we trust the most. As patients, we are responsible for finding out what works best for us. We must remember that as long as we make the right choices for our health, then no advice given by another will be bad. Only you know what is best for you, and only you should be making the choices that will keep you healthy and happy.