Peter Yellowlees MD Your Health in the Information Age
How you and your doctor can use the Internet to work together
Patient Histories

Erica is the mom of a 10 year old Martin with ADHD. She and Martin's teacher monitor and report his symptoms daily via a website and she sends reports to me by email so that I can adjust his medication between consultations, whether these occur by email, phone or face to face. Martin is doing better at school now than he has for several years.


Ron is a successful overweight businessman who eats and drinks too much, and who has developed diabetes and heart problems. He is finally changing his lifestyle, having researched his health on the internet, and been confronted with his need to change. He is a member of AA but also gets a lot of support from some groups he has joined on the internet.


Tanya is seeing me for depression related to many tragedies in her life. She helped select the medication that suits her best after reading the treatment guidelines for her condition on a federal government website, and receives web-based cognitive therapy at the same time as attending my outpatients. We discuss her online cognitive therapy progress regularly and she is beginning to understand how stress makes her depression worse, and more importantly, how to use strategies she has learned to feel better.

Brian is a 22 year old biology major who has been spending more than 14 hours per day on the internet - playing games and "researching" information for his courses from the almost unlimited amount of biology information available - causing him to miss college assignments, not eat properly, lose friends and become reclusive. Therapy is just beginning and he has made a detailed list of the disadvantages of spending excessive time on the internet, and how it is adversely affecting his life. He has spoken to his parents and is getting support from them, while at the same time, they help limit his time online according to a strict schedule we have developed.


Sheila's father has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer for whom the best approach to treatment is to join a clinical trial of a new experimental drug. She researched the best trial options on the internet, with the help of her doctor, and the three of them discussed these before her father applied for the trial of their choice.


Joan is a middle aged businesswoman who has to travel extensively and who has diabetes, arthritis and hypertension. She monitors her own symptoms and blood sugars and keeps the records on her personal health record, and can email her doctor for advice from wherever she is. Her doctor always responds within 24 hours and she is able to continue getting the best possible care, as well as receiving all of her prescriptions electronically direct to her closest pharmacy, while only needing to see her doctor about once every 6 months for physical check ups.


Dan is an elite athlete who takes part in many long cycling races all over the world. He has asthma which he controls with medications, and keeps careful online records of both his training schedules, and his lung function, which are shared with his sports medicine physician who is able to monitor his health wherever he is.