Virtual surgery places health in patients’ hands

Moray residents can chat with fellow sufferers and read clinicians’ blogs

By Donna MacAllister

Published: 12/11/2009

Moray’s first “virtual” surgery, designed to make people experts in their own healthcare, was launched yesterday.

Health-e-space.com enables patients to “visit the clinic”, chat to other Moray residents with similar medical problems, pinpoint local health information, read clinicians’ blogs on specialist subjects and link to recommended health sites.

Site founder Professor Grant Cumming, a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at Dr Gray’s Hospital, Elgin, said it was time everyone took responsibility for their own health.

He added: “Some analysts are predicting almost every school-leaver would have to join the medical profession by 2020 to maintain current levels of health.

“I think we can use digital technology to improve the whole aspect of information.”

Dr Cumming assured website users about security, promising no patient records would be posted online and visitors could remain anonymous if they wanted.

He said existing e-health websites, such as menopausematters.com, received millions of hits a month, and this new approach had been shown to improve health both mentally and physically.

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