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Cell phones and the internet used to stay healthy

Cell phones and the internet may help us live longer, at least when the devices are used to keep good communication between patients and their doctors. New research finds that heart patients who used Telehealth systems to talk to their doctors were less likely to have future heart attacks, or other forms of coronary artery disease. A new study published Thursday finds that telephones and internet devices can help heart patients reduce their risk factors and lower their odds of future heart attacks. Patients use these modern technologies to talk to nurses or doctors who can answer questions, as well as guide patients in a personalized care program. Researchers in Australia examined 11 studies that contained more than 3,000 patients to see if tele-communication could actually improve people's health. They found that people using phones or the internet to talk to their health-care providers tended to have a lower rate of death. In addition, patients improved on many risk factors for heart disease - they lowered their cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and reduced their smoking. They even increased their physical activity as well. Researchers say that today's patients lead busy lives and often don't want to come in for face-to-face appointments. Modern technology allows patients, nurses and doctors to have conversations about diet, medications, and exercise programs that would not have happened otherwise.

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