The Nation's Health + [Track Your Plaque]

Track Your Plaque: Track Your Plaque goes global

I don't use this space to toot my horn (at least I don't too often), but we were looking at the listings of our viewers and members. I was surprised to learn that we now have Track Your Plaque followers in 15 different countries around the world!

We have members from Europe including England, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Czech Republic. We have members from as far away as South Africa, Australia, India, Singapore, Thailand, and China.

I see the entire Track Your Plaque process as a grand experiment. Never before in history has a system of health been delivered via a communication medium like the web. The internet provides more interactivity than television, it's more fluid than a book, it's more dynamic and evolves more rapidly than a face-to-face interaction. While we cannot be hands-on over the internet, we can still deliver all the crucial information and, hopefully, the knowledge on how to get it done.

Healthcare

Track Your Plaque is part of an even grander experiment: The movement to shift control over health away from the medical system, doctors, and hospitals and back to individuals . When you think about it, the idea that "health" (more acurately sickness ) should be managed by people and institutions (e.g., hospitals and insurance companies) outside of the individual is a 20th century concept. I predict that this notion will also become a relic of the 20th century.

Someday, we will look back and laugh at the folly of the 20th century style of paternalistic health care. Perhaps it was a necessary step in the sequence to transform health to a better system that returns control to the individual. But it's clearly time for a change.

Track Your Plaque is an example of the extraordinary power that can be taken by a lone individual with only minimal assistance of a health care provider. I see Track Your Plaque members who understand heart disease (at least the coronary disease aspect) far better than 95% of my cardiology colleagues, 100% of my internal medicine and family practice colleagues. Physicians maintain a role, but their role has shrunk and receded. They should be facilitators of success in health, educators, a resource to turn to when we need help. It's not that way today. It will be in 50 years.

But, right now, we can get started on this wonderfully self-empowering--liberating -- movement by participating in this global experiment known as Track Your Plaque, the program with the goofy name that has the potential to usurp and unravel this enormous institutionalized system of health care the world has created.