Stay-at-Home Female Doctors Serve the Poor Online

Women have been slowly but surely breaking the barriers that have been set for them in the past centuries. A beauty queen with Down’s syndrome made history, single mothers run startup companies, more women are fighting back against sexual harassment and even lead hundreds of people to resuscitate a dead river.

Here’s to another amazing woman. A female Pakistani doctor recognized the odds stacked against physicians in her context, and acted to provide more flexible options for women in the medical industry. Dr. Iffat Aga founded a platform to connect home-based female doctors to poor communities.

Sehat Kahani is a revolutionary tele-health platform that connects at-home, out-of-work doctors who can provide quality health care to underprivileged patients in low and middle-income markets.

The organization currently constitutes a network of 14 facilities across Pakistan which have served more than 550,000 patients. When a patient visits the clinic, a nurse logs their basic medical history, and then doctors are called in to continue the consultation through a video conferencing system.

The percentage of women in local medical schools are higher than those of men, but less than half of these women eventually end up as practitioners because they believe they need to nurture their families first. Because of the responsibility weighing down on them, female doctors stop pursuing their careers.  Dr. Iffat knew this problem needed a solution, so she partnered up with women who similarly understood — and perhaps personally experienced — the crisis, and together they built Sehat Kehani.

With a vision to create an all-female health provider network, Sehat Kahani simultaneously promotes women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, and the basic need for affordable, quality healthcare in rural and urban communities – all without the doctors ever having to leave their homes.

It is truly an inspirational balancing act to target both the issues of gender inequality and poverty at the same time. Women are not only fighting for their own rights; they are doing so in order to join larger fights.

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So You Want To Start A Blog?

Now that we’ve established anyone can write a book, starting a blog might be on your radar. While it’s a great way to express yourself and share opinions with netizens, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Casual or professional, blogging isn’t for the idle writer. But if you’re brimming with ideas, it may be the perfect platform for you.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a computer wiz to start a blog. All you need is a vision and lots of commitment. But before jumping ahead, decide what you want to blog about. A sensible place to start would be where your passion lies. Don’t dwell on how your potential readers might respond — we’ll get to that later. Think of a topic you can go on about for hours, or even days. You can also try brain-mapping. 

Once you have outlined your content, pick out a blogging platform. For most, WordPress is more or less a go-to site for its user-friendly interface. However, the freedom is yours. If you are hoping to reach a wide audience (which, I assume, would be anyone’s intent), select a host for your blog. Most web hosts provide inexpensive plans that will suit your needs. This will get your site circulating.

It may seem the least of your worries, but choosing a domain is essential to your online identity. Remember that your title will come with a fee, so be thoughtful! Figure out what best represents you and what is easiest to remember. If you are keen on using your own name, consider dropping anything that is hard to spell. Using a suggested title isn’t out of the question, but keep it unique.

Another important step (and no, you needn’t be an HTML expert) is to establish a themeFree options are perfectly fine but a few tweaks and accents may help your aesthetic stand out. Tinker with various layouts that best suit your style. Are you a photographer? A journalist? What would catch your eye? Be meticulous. Don’t teeter between formats — it may confuse your followers!

After getting the technical tasks out of the way, it’s time to begin your journey! While it’s important to make sure your first piece is gripping, make sure you consistently put out quality content. Nobody wants to read a boring blog! If, at some point, you’re stumped for topics, draft your ideas in advance. It always helps to know what you’ll be writing about in a few weeks’ time. Better yet, schedule your posts. Are you willing to publish once, twice, or three times a week? Decide how great of a load you can carry to avoid missing out on a post. Remember — nothing beats being honest with yourself regarding how much you can handle.

In a (now) predominantly virtual world, blogging is the most efficient way to have meaningful conversations. Though the most successful writers are undoubtedly very opinionated, don’t forget your online etiquette. A smart blogger may end up popular, but a firm and respectful one is also highly esteemed.

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Cyberbullying Is So Out Of Fashion

Here are a list of things that are no longer relevant today: the Katy Perry-Taylor Swift feud; apple-bottom jeans and boots with the fur; the T-Mobile Sidekick; and privacy. Yes, privacy. If you haven’t noticed, “What you say can and will be used against you,” is no longer just a Miranda Right.

The 21st century has been a dangerous era for teenagers in particular. With a lack of privacy arrives the need to keep up appearances. Uploading a photo onto your Instagram account is never as simple as sharing a moment but sharing wealth and status. A critical tweet is not just about an opinion but being inarguably right. Networks comprise of the easily offended and those who are “just putting others in their place.” After all, next to Disneyland, social media is the happiest place on earth–for people who are winning at it.

As a person who is far from soft-spoken, my handles are laden with bare-faced selfies, erotic poetry, and new philosophies. I often receive a generous amount of likes and positive comments regarding my boldness and bravery, save for the occasional hater who thinks I am “too loud.” When sharks bite, do you bite back? A younger me would’ve certainly thought so. But if social media is a perpetual game of who can be meaner, who wins? Does it even really matter?

Believe it or not, not everyone is out to offend you. When someone has realized they have hurt you by means of understanding facial expressions and the tone of your voice, they will, more often than not, apologize. This doesn’t exist on FaceBook and Twitter, where movements are carefully calculated and empathy remains a thing of the past.

Cyber bullies, who are shielded by a trusty sheet of fiber optic glass, are plagued with mob mentality, as they are usually part of one. People thrive on validation, and those who join Internet mobs don’t always do so with bad intentions. After all, if the majority thinks it, it must be true. Sometimes, they are just ill-advised.

This isn’t to say there aren’t some truly nasty players out in the virtual field. Some studies claim that cyber bullying has exponentially more negative effects than face-to-face abuse–this is because people feel less obligation to help, especially when disparaging tweets are easily swept away by a sea of song lyrics, play-by-plays, and borderline-creepy statements about Harry Styles.

Instructing kids to stay off social media is no longer an effective method of protection. After all, having an iPhone is no longer an option but a necessity. So how do we avoid getting cyber bullied? The simple answer is we can’t. But it’s up to us to respond.

Bullies thrive on attention. Anger is the fuel to their vehicle. Kill them with kindness or leave them in the dust. Whatever the case, act dignified. Compassion is a bully’s very own Kryptonite.

Report them. Harassment is by no means free speech. Reach out. Hardly ever is there a case where you are the “only one.” Educate yourself and others. Draw the line somewhere. The mute button is just a click away. Attack no one, but defend yourself. Know that bullies are people too.

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Need A Therapist? The Internet Is At Your Service

The most exhausted word of advice to those who have been newly diagnosed with some form of depression is, “Go see a therapist.” While therapy is most often successful in treating mental illnesses, it is not always affordable nor accessible. But don’t worry, the Internet has a solution.

Research, including a meta-analysis of studies involving internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, suggests that digital therapies augmented by coaches who are available by text or phone can be as effective as evidence-based traditional therapy in treating some people with depression.

Once again, your trusty iPhone can save the day, as studies by the U.K. National Health Service has found that the recovery rates of ‘online’ patients have had the edge on those who undergo therapy in-person.

However, with apps like Koko, where online communities can respond to people’s calls for help, how can we be sure that these spaces are safe and reliable? The American Psychological Association suggests “stepped care.”

Stepped care might start with a brief in-person assessment of a patient who shows signs of depression, so that therapists can identify any behavioral or health concerns.

“Then, depending on severity, we would provide each patient with a self-help book or access to web-based education. If that didn’t work, perhaps we’d move to a computer-assisted intervention, and then move toward in-person treatment,”

I am a therapy-goer myself, but also a tenacious skeptic. Would I try online therapy? Perhaps. But the statistics will have to throw me a bone!

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New Web Platform Allows Doctors To Prescribe Digital Treatments

With a plethora of existing conditions and viruses, the need to improve healthcare systems never stops. As hospitals and clinics are not always readily available to the majority (or perhaps we’d prefer an apple a day to keep the doctor away), app empire Swype has raised $8.5 million for Xealth, a web platform connecting patients and doctors.

Founded in May 2016, Xealth is a cloud-based digital platform that allows doctors to prescribe digital treatments such as instructional videos to patients.

“Healthcare’s just such a big challenge for the U.S. right now,”

“It felt like that big problem for all of us was worth attacking, and it seemed like it was also well poised to get disrupted digitally,”

The main issue lies in third party vendors, whose digital tools cannot be shared by doctors if they are not integrated with their hospital system.

Xealth is basically a connective tissue that lets hospitals and vendors hook up through the cloud and bypass all that work.

Xealth also tracks if patients are completing tasks [prescribed by doctors].

Doctors can easily keep tabs on patients and make sure they are following the instructions given to them. After all, we all know that one guy who never follows the regime.

While Xealth isn’t going to replace physical consultations, it is predicted to have a great impact on users. Xealth endorses other services such as shared decision-making programs and collation of patient data.

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