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Health Beat: Saving lives with 2nd opinions right from your home

By Melanie Falcon, Anchor / Reporter, @Melanie_Falcon, MFalcon@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 17 2014 01:17:34 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 17 2014 05:11:41 PM CDT

When you or a loved one is just diagnosed with a serious condition, it can be a frightening, overwhelming experience.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -

When Ella Jakobi was told she'd need back surgery, the busy fashionista worried about how it would impact her lifestyle.

"I thought I was going to be like an old woman, just shuffling around," Jakobi said.

Her doctor said she would need at least four months to recover, and even then there could be mobility issues.

"Then, I decided to go online like a lot of us do. You know, when you get a diagnosis, you run around and start Googling," Jakobi explained.

That's where she found SecondOpinions.com, founded by Dr. Michael Yuz.

"Medical errors are now considered to be the third leading cause of death. Up to 400,000 patients die in the United States alone from preventable medical errors," Yuz said.

Now, new options, like SecondOpinions.com, allow you to get a second opinion without leaving your home.

Others include Johns Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic's MyConsult program. Each allows you to upload your medical images to its server and match you with expert board certified physicians.

"Forty to 50 percent of cases that come to us will provide a diagnosis that sometimes is substantially different from the original," Yuz explained.

In Jakobi's case, a neuroradiologist and neurosurgeon reviewed her images.

"She was definitely not a surgical candidate, although she was told that she would be crippled unless she got the surgery," Yuz said.

Instead, with a strict exercise plan, she’s feeling better than ever.

"It was a life-changer for me; 100 percent life-changer," Jakobi said.

Medical errors cost the U.S. about $20 billion a year. As for the cost to you, a second opinion can cost anywhere from $500 and up at Johns Hopkins or the Cleveland clinic, and may or may not be covered by insurance.

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