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Popular Prescription: The Internet As A Healthcare Tool

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Popular Prescription: The Internet As A Healthcare Tool

An estimated 73 million American adults have used the Internet to prepare for doctor's visits, research prescription drugs and explore new ways to control their weight, according to a recent survey from Pew Internet, an independent organization that researches the impact of the Internet on society.

The survey also reported that Internet users between the ages of 50 and 64 were more likely than other age groups to have gone online for health information.

For the 17 million Americans with diabetes (many of whom fall into that 50-to-64 age group), the Internet is also a place where they can access health-related information and download software programs that can help them, and their healthcare providers, better manage their disease.

Software programs and the Internet are particularly useful in diabetes management because of the amount of information that people need to record and manage on a daily basis. In the past, healthcare professionals have recommended that people with diabetes keep a daily logbook of not only their blood sugar levels, but also the activities that can affect those levels, including information about their medication, exercise, and what they eat.

Unfortunately, recording this much information can be time-consuming and people may find it difficult to spot patterns or problem areas just by looking at individual entries in a paper logbook. That's where software programs can help people with diabetes make sense of seemingly random bits of information and help them make better choices to manage their disease.

One of the newest programs available through the Internet via download is OneTouch Diabetes Management Software. This new software lets people download their personal diabetes information from their blood sugar meter to their computer and organizes the information into easy-to-read charts and graphs. These visuals can help users identify trends and problem areas that show the impact of individual actions on blood sugar levels and help people with diabetes make better-informed daily choices about their medication, food and exercise. Better choices can, in turn, lead to better blood sugar control, the key to minimizing or preventing serious diabetes-related complications, like blindness, kidney failure and amputation.

"With tools like OneTouch Software, people now have the ability to use their home computer as a personal healthcare tool to visually track key factors in their diabetes management," said Donald K. Zettervall, Registered Pharmacist, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Director of the Diabetes Center, Old Saybrook, CT.

OneTouch Software is available for download at no charge from The software can also be purchased on CD-ROM by calling 1-800-382-7226.

© Health News 2003 All Rights Reserved.

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