By Sam Elliott
Blending the self-help nature of websites like WebMD and the connectivity of sites like Facebook, one Fishers doctor has developed a first-of-its kind, one-stop shop of a social network designed for urology patients.
Dr. David Hall, part of the Urology Associates of East Central Indiana practicing both at St. Vincent Fishers and in New Castle, first began blogging about urology issues after finishing his residency three and a half years ago.
“With a lot of urology conditions, no one really knows a lot about them unless you’ve been through it,” Hall said. “But the problem was people would go online and find a whole bunch of crazy stuff, so I started blogging and if a patient asked a question about a topic I’d go home and write a blog about it … more or less just to get people more aware of the urology issues and make it more accepted to speak about them openly and just kind of break down the taboo barriers.”
After about a year of blogging, Hall began finding that most patients diagnosed with prostate or kidney cancers or needing a related surgery didn’t have friends or family in their lives who had been through similar situations.
“I thought if we could build a way for these people to connect with each other across the country, it’s going to help alleviate a lot of their anxiety around things like, ‘Hey how do you really feel day two after a prostate surgery?’ or ‘What’s the biggest long-term complication after radiation for your prostate?’ or ‘What’s this medication and how badly does it really dry your mouth out?’” Hall said. “I can say it dries your mouth out, but a patient who’s been through that can probably describe it a lot better than I can. That’s how this idea launched and we’ve tweaked it a little bit and it’s still not what I want it to look like. We’re testing it and we have users in four countries and the feedback has been excellent.”
The My Urology Doc social network, assessable at myurologydoctor.com, features ongoing discussions between approximately 500 users related to topics including prostate, kidney, bladder and testicular cancer, kidney stones, urinary tract infections and many other urology related topics and information.
As the site continues to grow, Hall hopes to add a dedicated software staff to add additional features, like a mobile app for smart phones for example.
“The overall goal is going to be a suite of tools and applications to really be — whether you’re a patient, a urologist or family doc or hospital system — kind of the go-to resource for all things urology,” Hall said.
For more, visit app.myurologydoctor.com.