Using the Internet

A laptop on my lap top
Image by Nealy-J via Flickr

UCanDoIT – learning to use the Internet for help

Breast Cancer Care is currently running a survey on its website, asking where browsers look for information.

One would expect a high percentage to say “off the web”, but even so the results are shaming – for the medical profession – and prove that often they DON’T talk to us.

The survey asked where patients get their information from:

  1. 11% get their information from Professionals (doctors, nurses etc)
  2. 13% from Publications
  3. 74% off the Web

Even though an Internet-based survey will obviously have a bigger “web” input, this seems a sad comment on the help we get from medical professionals.

The Dept. Health is relying more and more on the Internet;  the latest proposals to close wards down assumes that patients are going to email doctors to ask for information so they can be treated at home.  This is a recipe for disaster, but used sensibly, the Internet can be very helpful.

If anyone wants help in becoming more Internet-savvy, there is a very helpful charity called UCanDoIT which is worth contacting.  Their remit is to teach disabled, elderly and housebound people how to use IT, and they come to your home to do this.  Cancer patients come under’ disabled’, and lessons are free.

One cancer patients says, “recently I have had Jim come to my home once a week for about 90 minutes at a time.  Having one-to-one sessions meant I worked at my own pace, and surprised myself with what I learnt.  Each week I made a list of things that bothered me, didn’t work, or I wanted to learn;   Jim would go through the list, and we just zipped through it.  Result was at the end of each session I felt really confident that I had mastered more of this weird new world – and thanks to Jim I even felt confident enough this week to offer to help set up the local LINk blog”.                  www.ucandoit.org.uk

Another useful company is The Tech Guys, who can reduce Geek speak to plain English.  This company is at the end of an 0800 phone number, and operates an incredibly helpful helpline for home computer users.  Based in England, they answer the telephone within a few rings, and give information in understandable form on just about any problem I have ever come across on my lap top.

The most incredible feature they offer is Remote Control.  You log in to their website, click on a button, and the technician at the end of the phone can see you screen.  You sit and watch as they move the cursor around the screen, clicking on things and repairing whatever was the fault.

Costing £80-£90 a year for the service, this price even included sending a courier to collect my lap top when I spilt water on the keyboard, replacing the keyboard, and delivering it to my home a few days later – at no extra charge.  And the people you talk to seem genuinely nice.    www.thetechguys.com

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