Tag Archives: heart problems

Fast Facts About Cholesterol

  • Over 73 million Americans have high LDL cholesterol
  • High cholesterol can manifest itself physically, causing ‘xanthomas’ (discolored fatty growths) on the skin.
  • Not all cholesterol is ‘bad’ for your heart. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the dangerous kind, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is beneficial for your body.
  • Cholesterol climbs with age, especially in women. It can significantly rise with menopause.
  • Even children and teens can have high cholesterol. There is nothing wrong with getting your child checked, especially if there are genetic risk factors present.
  • If you could take a look at cholesterol-clogged arteries, you would see that they are lined with a thick yellow substance that highly resembles butter!
  • Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, eating foods with ‘good’ HDL cholesterol just adds extra.
  • While high levels of LDL cholesterol produce dangerous plaque buildups in the arteries, target levels of HDL cholesterol can actually lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • If you have high cholesterol and are also obese or overweight, losing just 5-10% of your overall weight can potentially make a significant difference in your cholesterol levels.
  • 1 in 500 people are afflicted by a genetic disorder called familial hypercholesterolemia, marked by a defect on the 19th chromosome. FH causes dangerously high LDL cholesterol levels, even in young children with the mutation.
  • Ingesting more soluble fibre (such as that found in oatmeal, legumes and vegetables) can help lower your cholesterol.
  • Having high cholesterol (especially if it goes untreated) can nearly double your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Nearly half of people with high cholesterol are not taking medications as prescribed, which significantly increases their risk of heart disease.
  • Losing weight, taking prescribed medications and taking dietary changes such as limiting meat intake (choose protein rich alternatives like beans instead) and increasing your intake of fatty fish high in omega fatty acids can help control your cholesterol and keep it from climbing any higher.

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Physical Consequences Of Shift Work

Many studies have been conducted on the topic of how chronic shiftwork impacts the mind and body over time. The research has drawn links to various mental and physical ailments such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and insomnia.

The Trouble With Shiftwork

With nearly 15 million Americans clocking in and out at all hours of the day and night, there has been interest within the scientific community on how much of a toll these strange work hours may be having on people. Because the body naturally shuts down in the night and perks up with daylight, shift worker’s systems never really adapt to their flip-flopping sleep schedules. The majority of shift workers live with varying degrees of insomnia. Whether a person alternates from night and day shifts, works a couple weeks on and week off or works random shifts peppered at all different times, the body’s natural circadian rhythm (internal clock) is constantly being assailed.

Shiftwork and Cardiovascular Disease

While research has been inconclusive on the exact statistics about shiftwork and heart disease, it does point to an adverse effect on heart health. Indirectly, shift work seems to come with increased levels of stress on the body. These increased cortisol levels paired with an upset in natural bodily rhythms can contribute to cardiovascular disease over time. According to WebMD the longer a person works nightshifts, the higher the likelihood they will develop some type of heart disease such as hypertension or stroke.

Wonky Hours Can Cause Stomach Trouble

A study done by Rush University Medical Center in Chicago illustrates a higher instance of stomach disruption among shift workers. The extensive study showed that disruptions of circadian rhythms weakens the intestinal lining. It also studied several patients with Crohn’s disease (a condition marked by inflammatory bowels) who had many more flare-ups with their disorders when working night shifts, and could better regulate their health when working standard 9-5 shifts. This is one of many studies that have shown similar outcomes.

Shiftwork May Add Unwanted Pounds

There is a strong correlation between shift working and obesity. This is likely due to secondary factors such as: poor diet, it may be hard for shift workers to eat healthy during the nighttime or on the run so a quick vending machine snack for energy often suffices; more sedentary lifestyles, many shift workers are perpetually tired and may have limited energy for exercise between shifts (especially those working shifts longer than 10 hours); shift workers have lower levels of leptin, the hormone that helps regulate appetite and prevent overeating. It is largely controlled by sleep duration and deprivation.

Are Some Types of Shift Work Better?

The consensus seems to be that when it comes to shift work, steady night shifts are the best option because the body can become at least somewhat used to the schedule. Doctors suggest little fixes such as exposing yourself to bright lights during night shifts to trick the body into thinking it is daytime so you ‘should be awake’, then wearing dark shades on the drive home so as not to perk up with the sight of daylight before going to sleep.

What About Rotational Workers?

Unfortunately, as the body never really copes to ever-changing work schedules, there isn’t much to do except to try and stick to a routine when at all possible and get as much sleep as you can. Some people find sleeping pills helpful when it is time to rest, and mild stimulants such as caffeine helps them stay awake during shifts. Be careful to limit caffeine intake, and use sleeping pills only as advised by a doctor. Making the effort to eat healthy when working is also a good idea for shift workers so as to avoid obesity or other health problems. It can’t hurt to talk to your doctor, or one of our skilled physicians at DocChat about some of your shift working concerns. Thanks for reading!


Sleep Characteristics That Could Indicate Illness

Sometimes dreams are just dreams, but new and unusual dreams or nighttime habits can also be symptomatic of larger, potentially serious illnesses. Sleep characteristics that have shown some correlation with health issues include:

Stress Spilling Over Into Dreamland

Uncharacteristically vivid dreams can be an indication that you are highly stressed and that your stress is overflowing into your dreams. You may need to evaluate your stress level and talk to your doctor about ways to help bring it down. Routinely intense dreams have also been linked to bipolar disorder when combined with frequent several-day bouts of sleeplessness.

Dreams Can Signify Cognitive Decline

Frequent dreams of being attacked can be associated with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the elderly. Of course the occasional assault dream doesn’t mean you may be headed toward such illnesses, but frequent ones can be a precursor worth looking out for. In addition, many people in the early stages of cognitive decline will sleep-wander or show signs of violence or irritability during sleep.

Depression Can Alter Sleep Habits

Nearly 90% of people suffering from moderate-to-severe depression have insomnia. Depression can also cause chronic early waking and fitful sleep. Also, according to HelpGuide, “Laboratory studies have shown that people who are depressed spend less time in slow-wave sleep and may enter REM sleep more quickly at the beginning of the night.

REM Movement And Neurodegeneration

Kicking, punching or violently acting out dreams during the REM (deep) stage of the sleep cycle is often an indicator of Parkinson’s or other neurodegenerative diseases because healthy bodies are paralyzed during REM sleep.

Screaming The Screams Of Fever Dreams?

If you are having extremely bizarre dreams and waking disoriented and sweaty, your body may be trying to tell you that you’re sick. Untreated underlying and infections can cause these ‘fever dreams’ and freaky sleeps, so pay attention to your temperature and physical health if you’ve been having a few successive peculiar sleeps.

Sleep Disruptions Caused By Pregnancy

It is no wonder that moms-to-be often have fitful sleeps. From anxiety and excitement keeping them awake, to a mini foot in the ribs jerking them from slumber, or strange dreams causing uneasy sleeps. One factor that may explain pregnancy dreams and nightmares is that biological and hormonal changes in the body often cause increased and unusual dream activity. We all know there are no shortages of bodily changes happening during pregnancy! One study done on pregnant women showed a correlation between higher instances of nightmares and decreased odds of post partum depression. So maybe those prenatal nightmares aren’t such a bad thing!

Increased Nightmares Could Have You Clutching Your Chest

According to the American Grandparents Association, a 2003 Swedish study of elderly people study found that those experiencing increased nightmare activity had underlying cardiac problems. Their tests showed irregular heartbeats and chest pain corresponding with the nightmares. This was especially frequent during the REM stage of sleep when heartrate accelerates, sometimes causing them to wake with a gasp. That doesn’t mean everyone with a surplus of nightmares has heart problems. Nightmares could indicate other health issues or none at all, but in some cases it could be a sign of an arrhythmia or other cardiovascular condition. Similarly, studies have shown that taking beta blockers can also cause increase nightmares.

Diabetic Dreamers

People who suffer from Diabetes may experience some strange nighttime symptoms as well such as unpleasant or unsettling dreams (sometimes due to hypoglycemia), night sweats, or a frequent need to urination in the night. Severe diabetics may be frequently startled awake by nerve pain. Some of these symptoms can be remedied by medication adjustments.

Are You Frequently Suffocating in Dreams?

Studies have found that many people with sleep apnea (a condition where sleep breathing becomes shallow and uneven or stops) regularly experience dreams of drowning, suffocating or losing their breath. These are often correlated with actual stops or pauses in their breathing as they sleep. If you have frequent dreams of losing breath or wake gasping, it is important to check this out. The vast majority of sleep apnea patients experience symptom relief with forced air machines.

Check In If You Are Concerned

If you are experiencing any of these sleep aberrations – don’t panic! More than likely your sleep strangeness is just that, but it may be a good idea to mention your nighttime symptoms to your doctor, or one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians if you are concerned. It is always better to be safe than sorry!



Arrhythmias – A Whacky Ticker Could Be Serious

Arrhythmias are conditions which disrupt the normal electrical impulses of the heart, causing abnormal heartbeats. Not dissimilar to recurrent power surges and flickering lights in a house. There are different types of arrhythmias, and conditions that may mimic them as well. Some arrhythmias are harmless, simply causing mild delays in heartbeats, while others can be deadly if left untreated.


While some people with arrhythmias display few-to-no symptoms, others may experience:

  • Palpitations
  • A slow or chronically elevated heart rate
  • Little pauses between beats
  • Anxiety
  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), more serious symptoms of arrhythmias include shortness of breath, syncope (fainting), extreme weakness or fatigue, chest pain, or acute or unexplained anxiety.

Premature Ventricular Contractions

Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) are extra heartbeats which disrupt the heart’s normal rhythm. They cause palpitations (a flip-flopping sensation caused by the abnormal heartbeats). Generally speaking, PVCs are not serious and are very common. Most people will experience the occasional PVC or palpitation at some point in their lives. However, if PVCs are occurring frequently or over a prolonged period of time, they could be a sign of underlying conditions such as an anxiety problem, an arrhythmia, or another underlying heart condition.

Types of Arrhythmias

According to the American Heart Association some of the main types of arrhythmic conditions are:

  1. Atrial Fibrillation – a type of chronically irregular heartbeat that can lead to heart complications such as stroke or heart attack if left unchecked. An estimated 2.7 million Americans have AF.
  2. Bradycardia – a low chronic resting heart rate of under 60 BPM. It can be non-threatening depending on factors such as physical fitness (athletes commonly have a very slow resting heart rate, but this is due to very strong heart muscles), but because the brain may get less oxygen, it can also lead to serious complications such as heart failure, blood pressure conditions, or syncope.
  3. Tachycardia – (part of the Supraventricular family of arrhythmias) is a chronically elevated heart rate of generally around or over 100 BPM and is the opposite of Bradycardia. There are different types of tachycardia ranging from relatively harmless to life-threatening.
  4. Ventricle Fibrillation – an unorganized heartbeat associated with the lower chambers of the heart.

Detection and Diagnosis

There are several tests that can be conducted by your doctor or a cardiologist if an arrhythmia is suspected. One of these tests is a standard (EKG) which shows your heart rate and rhythm. Unfortunately, arrhythmias can be fleeting and may be difficult to detect during a 12 second EKG. In such cases a Holter monitor test may be ordered, a portable EKG machine you wear for 24-48 hours that takes continuous ‘snapshots’ of your heart rate as you do different activities. These monitors are better at catching an arrhythmia than a one-off EKG test. If your doctor suspects your arrhythmia is worsened by exercise, he or she may order a stress/exercise test to see if your heart rate rises dangerously when you perform minimal-to-moderate exercise.

Prevention and Treatment

Many arrhythmias are considered non-threatening enough that no treatment may be prescribed, but it is still important to get them diagnosed so you know if your arrhythmia is life-threatening, requires medication, or needs to be monitored for potential future complications.

There are things you can do that may lower your risk of developing an arrhythmia such as exercising regularly, avoiding smoking or drinking too much alcohol, controlling your weight, managing blood pressure and cholesterol, and partaking in a heart-healthy diet.

If you are experiencing symptoms that could be related to an arrhythmia or PVCs, you can check your pulse manually, or download a heart rate tracker app to keep an eye on it. You should also make an appointment with your primary care physician or one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians to ensure your heart is behaving properly.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Stay healthy and happy!

The High Risks Of Hypertension


Blood Pressure (BP) is calculated by measuring the force of blood coursing your arteries as your heart is pumping, called systolic pressure, over your diastolic pressure, the force of blood flow through the arteries while your heart is relaxed and refilling. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, consists of a chronic BP reading of 140/90 or higher (www.heart.org). According to the American Heart Association, over 80 million Americans have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Devil May Care

Everyone knows that high blood pressure is problematic, but the complications are more dangerous than we may think. Unfortunately, not every one properly heeds their doctor’s warnings of high blood pressure. Often when a person is diagnosed, they just stick the information on the dusty top shelf of their mind, and continue on with everyday business. However, nonchalance certainly is not the attitude any of us should be taking toward Hypertension.

The Silent Killer

Hypertension has been deemed ‘the silent killer’ for a reason. Most people have no symptoms as their pressure gradually climbs to unhealthy heights, putting the body in danger. According to Kathy Berra, clinical director of the Stanford Heart Network at the Stanford University School of Medicine, “Many people assume you will get a headache or some other kind of signal when blood pressure is high, unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Often, the first sign of unknown or untreated high blood pressure is a stroke, a heart attack, or kidney disease.” This is a scary notion to say the least.

Are You At Risk?

Even though hypertension is an intruder of the silent variety, there are some risk factors that can let you know if you are in danger of developing the condition. The World Heart Federation states that “Lifestyle and genealogy are significant contributors to high blood pressure. One can inherit it from parents and grandparents, but diet, tobacco use, stress levels, and lack of exercise are the leading causes.”

Comorbid Culprits

Aside from the disease itself, unchecked chronically elevated BP levels can also lead to other conditions such as kidney damage and failure, transient ischemic attacks (mini stokes), or even full blown strokes. Hypertension can also lead to potentially fatal heart problems including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries due to fatty buildup), and congestive heart failure. Also, the World Heart Association has established a strong link between chronically elevated blood pressure and diabetes. These are just a few of the many comorbid conditions that go hand in hand with high blood pressure.

What Can You Do?

There are many things we can do to prevent hypertension, or help reverse the condition. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some of the things you can do to manage your blood pressure include maintaining a healthy diet and weight, quitting smoking, keeping alcohol consumption at a low-to-moderate level, exercising regularly, as well as keeping stress levels under control.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends a nutritive system developed by their research teams called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (or the DASH eating plan), to help prevent or reverse high blood pressure. This diet centers mainly around vegetables, fruit, certain dairy products, whole grains, fish, poultry and seeds or nuts. It also advises limiting intake of sugar, red meat and excess sodium.

Check Your Numbers

Every adult should have their blood pressure checked at their next routine check-up to ensure there are no red flags. By checking your BP every now and then, you could avoid years of silent damage. You can check your blood pressure for free at most pharmacies, or you can buy a home blood pressure monitor. Stanford University’s Kathy Berra maintains that if you suspect, or have been told by your doctor that you have issues with blood pressure, the best course of action is to start checking and recording it yourself regularly.


The World Heart Federation: http://www.world-heart-federation.org/

The University of Maryland Medical Center: https://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/high-blood-pressure

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dashdiet.html

The American Heart Association: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/WhyBloodPressureMatters/Why-Blood-Pressure-Matters_UCM_002051_Article.jsp

Bewell @ Stanford University: https://bewell.stanford.edu/blood-pressure

Health Risks Associated With Red Meat

medium roast rib-eye steak on wooden plate with pepper and salt

Is there a correlation between eating red meat and being diagnosed with cancer or heart disease? This is a question that has puzzled many people for decades. In recent research, new evidence was found that eating red meat regularly can decrease your lifespan. Read on to know how health risks are associated with red meat.

Red Meat Can Harden Or Block Arteries

Red meat contains carnitine, an element that can trigger atherosclerosis. Carnitine can harden or block your arteries, increasing the risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke, according to a recent study. Under the study, researchers examined vegetarian and omnivore cardiac patients. It concluded that carnitine transforms to a material called trimethylamine-N-oxide, which is extremely detrimental to your heart. It was further found that the more the level of carnitine in your body, the more you are at risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Decrease In Lifespan

A research conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health uncovered a correlation between eating red meat and decrease in lifespan. It also found that consuming proteins in the form of nuts, fish, and poultry involve lower risk of early death than eating red meat. Experts particularly single out processed red meat like salami and hot dogs as “the worst.” Even though further evidence and investigation is required to unearth the actual cause, yet medical practitioners are adamant that it is in the meat preparation. Cooking meat for extended time or burning can lift the toxin level, which can cause stomach cancer.

Leftovers Joined Together

Proponents of red meat often argue that the meat additive they call “lean finely textured beef” is completely safe to eat. Popular among the public as pink slime, this additive comprises of fatty morsels of waste meat that is heated, processed to take out the fat, and then preserved with ammonia gas. The meat is then sold to shops that add slime to the beef, which has been found to be dangerous for health. Moreover, the ammonia may introduce pathogens into the meat. There are also chances that the bacteria will spread in your kitchen during preparation and cooking.


Regular consumption of red meat has been associated with heart diseases, stomach cancer, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. The risk is especially higher in case of processed red meat. Moreover, raw red meat has the potential to spread bacteria in your kitchen and home. It is highly recommended that you wash your hands and other cooking tools after handling raw red meat.

In a nutshell, red meat is delicious and can be consumed but in moderation. However, the quantity consumed should be decreased if you suffer from certain medical conditions. To know more, get in touch with us today as our telemedicine experts can help you stay healthy by recommending what you should and should not consume.

Obesity – Understanding the Risks


Obesity is a common problem that involves accumulation of undue amount of fat in your body. If you are extremely obese, it means that you are at risk of health complications. You should take proactive measures to steer clear of obesity to avoid these potential health problems.

Here are the risks associated with being obese:

Heart Diseases

Obesity leads to increase in your body mass index (BMI), which in turn makes you more susceptible to coronary heart disease. The condition involves the buildup of plaque – a waxy material- in your coronary arteries that can make the arteries thin or completely block them, and decrease the flow of blood to your heart. The outcome can be chest pain or a heart attack. When the condition becomes serious, it can even cause a heart failure.


Obesity can result in hypertension- a condition whereby the force applied by the blood against the walls of your arteries increases. If your blood pressure increases and remains constantly high, it can cause damages to your body. The more obese you are, the more the chance for hypertension.


If you are overweight or obese, you are at risk of stroke because obesity generates plaque in your arteries, and there are chances that a portion of the plaque can break up, growing a blood clot in one of your arteries. And, if the clot is created somewhere near your brain, it has the potential to shut down blood and oxygen supply to your brain. When blood and oxygen supply to the brain stops, the risk of experiencing a stock increase.


Diabetes is a health condition that involves increase in your blood sugar level. Under normal circumstances, the human body converts foods into glucose and then transports them to the cells, which use insulin to convert the glucose into energy. However, when you are suffering from type 2 diabetes, your body cells can malfunction when it comes to using insulin. Obese people are more at risk of type 2 diabetes, which is among the major causes of deaths, kidney diseases, strokes, heart diseases and blindness.


Being obese and overweight can also increase your risk for Osteoarthritis, which is a common condition that involves wear and tear of your joints, including hip joints, knee joints and your lower back. Rise in weight increases the pressure on the tissues that protects your joints, leading to wear and tear of the joints. This condition can cause unbearable pain.

It is important to stay healthy and lose weight. The best way is to have a healthy diet and workout regularly. However, obesity is not merely being overweight, it is classified as a disease and hence medical intervention may be necessary. If you’re overweight or feel you need to lose weight, get in touch with us today and let us suggest you the best tools to stay fit.

Cardiac Arrest: After Surgery Care Tips

A man in pain clutches at his chest.

Cardiac arrest requires instant and prompt medical attention. This is because the heart ceases all of its functions, that is, it stops pumping blood to the brain, lungs, and many other organs of the human body. Thereby, causing unconsciousness and possible death if not treated as a medical emergency.

Once, you are out of surgery, the recovery period is extensive and exhaustive. Since the heart is the core of the human body, it needs a lot of time to heal and function properly. Here are some of the tips that you need to consider in order to avoid any postoperative complications and ensure proper functioning of your heart.

Exercising and Physical Therapies

Exercising is immensely important when you are recovering from cardiac surgery. Not only does it improve the heart function by improving its ability to inhale oxygen, it also reduces any potential risk of returning cardiac arrest.

Physical therapists, with slight movements, help you out immediately after you come out of cardiac surgery. Since, the surgery is still relatively recent, you need to make sure that you do not exert yourself and your body too much. Once you are released from the hospital, activities that do not put too much pressure on your body and heart should be carried out. Walking in your backyard, walking up the stairs, and just generally moving your body is an ample amount of exercise in this situation.

It is recommended that you join a rehabilitation center as the program helps recovering patients with light exercises that don’t exert their body too much. However, make sure that you discuss with an expert the type of exercises your body can handle and which are not too intense.

Take Care of Your Diet

Avoiding alcohol, smoking and any such harmful substances is extremely important when you are recovering from cardiac surgery. However, after a month you can have alcohol only if it is doesn’t exceed one glass a day, but make sure you ask your doctor before you consume any quantity of alcohol.

Vegetables, meat, and other protein foods should be incorporated into your diet. Make sure to get a lean protein cut. Moreover, in lieu of deep frying your food in oil, you should minimize the use of oil by baking or steaming your food. Avoiding foods with high cholesterol levels and fats is also important as it makes you vulnerable to heart attacks or potential cardiac arrests.

Destress Yourself Mentally

Having suffered a cardiac arrest and going through surgery is a very painful and traumatic experience. Thus, it is not surprising when patients complain of anxiety and depression. This requires you to relax and destress your minds. It is important to unburden yourself. Music, fresh air, etc. are immensely helpful to destress your minds. If you believe that you cannot handle the depression, you should make an appointment with a counselor and discuss what’s causing your apprehensions.

Telemedicine can also be of help. You can have an expert prepare a diet chart for you telling you what to eat and what not to eat. Plus, you can also have a special chart explaining activities to indulge in.


3 Common Chronic Diseases Better Treated Via Telemedicine

Telemedicine is a highly cost-effective option when it comes to managing diseases. It has become an increasingly important option and has been received with open arms by all. The increased interest is due to the fact that in recent years, technology has become cheaper and more universal.

Telemedicine is for everyone, including patients that are suffering from chronic conditions.

Most chronic conditions are difficult to manage; they need frequent monitoring of the patient’s health. This aspect has made controlling chronic conditions difficult for doctors and patients. Telemedicine is a wonderful solution to this problem.

1. Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Congestive heart failure is a weakening of the heart and its blood supply mechanism. Diseases that cause heart failure are varied. The most common causes are:
● Artery diseases–Coronary artery disease (CAD)
● Artery blockages-Heart attacks
● Damaged heart muscles
● High blood pressure

Limitations of Traditional Management Methods
Traditional management methods have been less effective when it comes to encouraging an active patient role in the treatment. The incidences of people with CHF requiring re-hospitalization are high. This also results in a high mortality rate for people who have suffered from heart failure. Patient empowerment in this area is important.

How Telemedicine Can Help Manage CHF
Home-monitoring devices can be used by doctors to remotely gather vital patient data, such as

● Weight
● Blood pressure
● Heart rate
● Oxygen saturation levels

Other advanced devices can also help monitor patient data:

● Some devices can transmit ECG (Electrocardiogram) data
● Sounds using an electronic stethoscope
● Videoconferencing for direct interviews

This data is collated, analyzed, and provided to the doctor.

2. Stroke or Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA)

Limitations of Traditional Methods
Traditional methods of following up with stroke patients have a high cost burden. Strokes are a time-critical condition; brain damage can result within minutes since blood flow is blocked. Prompt and proper treatment is critical.

How Telemedicine Can Help Stroke Suffers
Telestroke systems exist which help connect experts with each other via electronic means. This existing network can be improved via telemedicine. Additional benefits include:

● Rapid diagnosis
● Treatment can be supervised by specialists remotely
● Quicker administration of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)

3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is a group term for lung diseases that are serious and progress over time. The most common are emphysema, chronic bronchitis,

Limitations of Traditional Methods
COPD management is more effective when lung health is frequently monitored.

How Telemedicine Can Help COPD Patients
Telemedicine can help patients and doctors by making frequent, remote measurements of lung health using

● Telespirometry
● Teleconsultations with pulmonologists
● Web-based patient education systems can help COPD sufferers self-manage and monitor symptoms.

One study explored the benefits of a telemedicine system designed for COPD patients. The results of the study showed that the intervention was successful and effective. The approach combines 4 areas:

1. Real-time ambulant activity coach
2. A web portal for self-treatment of exacerbations
3. An online exercise program
4. Teleconsultation

Encouraging the patient to take an active role in disease management can reduce mortality rates and improve health. Frequent communication between the doctor and the patient can help identify a problem before it gets worse. Telemedicine also helps in making treatment processes more transparent and lowers hospital costs.