Health: Push-Button Medicine

If you can monitor your symptoms electronically, why go to the doctor?

Valeta Young, 81, a retiree from Lodi, Calif., suffers from congestive heart failure and requires almost constant monitoring. But she doesn't have to drive anywhere to get it. Twice a day she steps onto a special electronic scale, answers a few yes or no questions via push buttons on a small attached monitor and presses a button that sends the information to a nurse's station in San Antonio, Texas. "It's almost a direct link to my doctor," says Young, who describes herself as computer illiterate but says she has no problems using the equipment.

Young is not the only patient who...

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