Savvy seniors

Feb. 1, 2003
Maybe because the Internet has made millions of them more savvy consumers, todays older folks arent willing to give up the control of their own health.Speaking in our Expert Opinion interview this month, Quidel CEO S. Wayne Kay tells us that in many ways the diagnostics industry today is driven by the aging population and their desire to manage their own illnesses. This aging group wants to know and more fully understand its health challenges, says Kay.Hes right on target. For my grandparents generation, people really didnt want to know anything about that scary thing that was wrong with them, so they just relied on a childlike faith, questioning little, trusting in silence that whatever their hometown family doctor told them was best.I cant tell you how many times I asked my grandmother, Whats that pill for? Why does the doctor have you on that? Shed wave my questions away with, I dont know, honey; I just take what he tells me to.Today, they dont just take it anymore.Now we have savvy seniors like my 70-year-old dad, a retired Navy pilot, who research their illnesses online and do their best to find the most cutting-edge treatments and the doctors with the highest qualifications.Thanks to the Internet, lack of medical training is no longer an obstacle (though lost reading glasses might be). Savvy seniors today tell their doctors what medicine they think they need, rather than the other way around. This would surely be a shock to the country docs of the past. The Internet has brought every publication, every medical journal, everybodys opinions, right into their homes. Now, these mouse-happy seniors, in between e-mailing their grandchildren, checking the stock market and fooling around with games of e-blackjack, are doing Google searches for the newest blood glucose monitor.The diagnostics industry must make sure it considers the growing independence of todays seniors. For us Baby Boomers, the good news is that because of legions of savvy seniors like my dad, the diagnostics industry should be ready for us as we inevitably stare down the ravages of age, because were even more independent and info-hungry than our parents.Nominate your lab for Medical Laboratory of the YearMLO is sponsoring and debuting a new contest this spring. In recognition of Aprils Medical Laboratory Week, this month were accepting nominations of labs for MLOs Medical Laboratory of the Year. In past years, weve run a Laboratorian of the Year contest; but this time, we decided to give you a chance to nominate your entire laboratory for our award. Large or small, hospital or POL, urban or rural every clinical lab has a chance to win. The three labs judged tops in productivity, innovation, teamwork and customer or patient care will be featured in our April issue. Your lab could be our winner. Tell us what makes your lab the best. See our
nomination instructions.
Celia Stevens
[email protected]
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