Audio-visual communication has always been an effective utility tool to the field of medicine. An interactive video disc is helping patients make important decisions about their treatment. The days when doctors told you what treatment to have are long gone. Patients today expect to participate in the decision-making process. But sometimes this is difficult, when the clinical evidence gives conflicting messages and new research comes up all the time.
Doctors in the US have been testing a new aid to patient decision-making - an interactive video disc. This gives extra information about your health issue and helps you make up your mind. It has been trialled with women deciding whether or not to opt for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and with men considering the treatment options for prostate problems. In both instances, the videodisc was liked by both patients and doctors and played an important part in helping the patient to come to a decision they were happy with.
The new technology opens the door to better-informed patients, and more rational treatment decisions. If the tool were available over the Internet, costs would be minimal. The main issue of concern is to ensure that the quality of material on the videodisc is of the highest possible standard and thus serving the purpose.