Remember that popular visual from the movie Matrix – a black computer screen with green characters trickling down in streams, which looked cool, remote, enigmatic and became the ultimate symbol of sci-fi? That’s exactly how I feel reading my blood test report with stuff like SGOT, SGPT, HS-CRP etc. What do they even mean? Does bold font mean I am going to die or will I still have time to watch, should there be one more movie in the Matrix series?
And in the brief ten minutes I get with the doctor I don’t want to sound silly asking basic questions and making a fool of myself. Maybe this stuff was taught in high school biology when I was not paying attention in the class. And the net result is that even at the end of showing the report to the doctor the sci-fi plot in my report is still not clear.
Traditional health reports provide factual information using medical terminology which is not easy to understand. Also, they tend to focus on a particular parameter in question but fail to add all different parameters to give a holistic evaluation of health. So, the question remains – How well can common people understand their health reports?
What can be done to make it better?
- Give a holistic view: Rather than get lost in details of specific parameters in isolation, analyze them all together to give a holistic view of health.
- Simplify by use of colors which are easy to understand: Medical terms and acronyms are Greek and Latin to the person actually affected. However, if somebody were to simplify it in plain English, wouldn’t it be easier to relate?
- Make targets clear: Performing better needs clarity of goals. So, health reports should help doctors set clear goals such that patients don’t have any ambiguity regarding what they need to do next.
- Explain the cause/effects: Explaining the cause and effects of any abnormality helps in people appreciating the importance of corrective action.
- Diet Dos and Don’ts – Suggestions on what to and what to avoid based upon your specific report. Curated list of foods (specific to your country), that can help improve your current medical condition and avoid future issues.
- Consolidated guidance– Specialists you would benefit on meeting with based on your report. Report also gives you unbiased guidance on your follow up (when and what) and the additional tests that can help doctors assess your health better.
- References– We look at the latest and authentic up to date references so that you can consume the information that we provide, without worries.