All posts by Anthony Casimano

Anthony is an accomplished sales and marketing professional, with superior management and communication skills. Anthony embraced his full spectrum of talents as an entrepreneur and has accrued over two decades of expertise in sales and marketing, particularly in the healthcare arena to which he dedicated almost ten years of his career. Anthony commenced his professional journey back in the 1990s and is considered a pioneer of the digital marketing world, as well as an expert in all facets of personal & business Internet branding, marketing and positioning. An entrepreneur, thought-leader, influencer, and extraordinary marketer, Anthony enjoys the patronage of numerous clients for which he has prescribed a recipe for success over the years. Anthony Casimano is one of the Co-founders of Find A Top Doc. FindaTopDoc.com is a free service available to patients 24/7 to help them find doctors in their area and book appointments instantly. A valuable source of information for the patient, Find a Top Doc makes seeing the right doctor a simple, fast, and convenient task.

Bath Salt Abuse

The drugs widely sold as bath salts, and other similar names, are alleged to produce dramatic effects in their users. Perhaps one of the most famous incidents of apparent bath salt abuse involved a spate of horrific attacks, including cannibalism.

These instances were widely reported as being caused by these drugs, but after further information was unveiled, there was no evidence of bath salt abuse found in these cases. As a result, these drugs were widely maligned with little real evidence, and numerous myths have sprung up about their use. The facts about bath salts are disturbing on their own, but further investigation found that there was no evidence they cause “zombie-like” behavior.

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The basis of these drugs lies in the khat plant, a shrub that grows in east Africa and parts of the Arabian peninsula. The plant produces cathinones, which act in a similar way to amphetamines. They act as stimulants on the central nervous system.

Signs and Symptoms

As with most stimulants, bath salt use leads to:

  • Rapid heart rate.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Dilated pupils.

This increases the risk of heart attack and stroke during even short-term use. Bath salts have been associated with headaches and palpitations in a significant number of users. Increased sexual stimulation has been associated with bath salts, potentially leading to risky sexual activities.

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Physical symptoms are not the only signs of bath salt use, however. If a loved one is using bath salts, you might notice that he has lost his appetite and no longer eats as much as he did. If your loved one is at school, you might notice that her grades have dropped and that her sleeping patterns have changed. For those who work, changes in work ethic and serious sleep disturbances might occur. The person might even lose his or her job thanks to erratic behavior.

Effects of Bath Salt Abuse

Long-term abuse of bath salts appears to result in effects similar to amphetamines:

  • Psychosis.
  • Dizziness.
  • Heart problems.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Ulcers.
  • Mood disorders.
  • Total loss of coordination.

Media outlets have reported serious disturbances as being a side effect of bath salt use. The Miami cannibal incident in May 2012 was widely reported as being a bath salts-caused attack, although the investigation could not determine the ultimate cause of the apparent psychosis.

Mental health disorders cover a wide range of issues, including severe depression and attempts at suicide. People might also self-mutilate and become delirious. Death is not uncommon.

Ultimately, the most dangerous side effect of bath salts appears to be addiction, which causes users to lose touch with reality and lose their sense of self-control. While there are few studies on bath salts that show an addictive potential, the stimulation of certain neural pathways indicates that these drugs work in a similar way to amphetamines, creating similar addiction profiles.

Treatment

When a loved one’s bath salts abuse spirals out of control, bath salts rehabis an option. Signs that an addiction has occurred usually involves a pattern of abuse that is destructive and carries on despite negative side effects. Usually, this might involve missing school or work, a failure to follow through with financial obligations, missing family obligations, or recurrent legal issues.

Once an addiction has been identified, it’s best to talk to the person. The key is to persuade your loved one to get help. Aim to understand why the addiction happened and don’t take anything personally; the drugs may well be talking, not the person you love.

Bath Salt Abuse: Everything you Need to Know

Meta: Have you heard news of deaths due to bath salt abuse? Read this article to know what it means, who is at risk, and what treatments are available.

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Bath salt abuse is emerging as a major public health issue in the recent years. In fact, the so-called bath salts are not true bath salts, the finely divided minerals for use while bathing.

The label on the addictive bath salt products mentions “not for human consumption”. Such a label, in many cases, protects the marketers from legal action. However, you should understand that these products have no legitimate use. In reality, the marketers have found a way to legally substitute other illegal drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamines. To further mask the illegitimate use, these products may also be sold as plant food, incense or insect repellant.

Teenagers constitute a major portion of bath salt abusers. Nonetheless, adults in their forties are also found to have abused it. According to many studies, bath salt abuse may cause severe psychiatric problems or even death.

Synonyms: “Ivory Wave,” “Purple Wave,” “Red Dove,” “Blue Silk,” “Zoom,” “Bloom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Ocean Snow,” “Lunar Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” “Scarface,” and “Hurricane Charlie.”

What are Bath Salts?

Bath salts are man-made chemicals that have stimulant properties. They are similar to a natural stimulant called cathinone. For this reason, they are also called synthetic cathinones. Bath salts are usually less expensive than other substances of abuse. They may take it by mouth, snorting or injecting.

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What is Bath Salt Abuse?

According to the WHO, drug abuse or substance abuse refers to “the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs.” By the same token, when your loved one uses bath salts with a sole purpose of getting high, it can be considered abuse.

Remember abuse does not necessarily mean a full blown addiction has kicked off. Nonetheless, abuse could be the beginning of a potential addiction problem.

Legal Status of Bath Salts

The common ingredients in bath salt are 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) and methylone. The Drug Enforcement Authority (DEA) banned all three compounds in 2011 and categorized them as Schedule I substances. Meaning, they have no medical use, are highly addictive and unsafe for consumption.

But the manufacturers and distributors stay away from the reach of the law by finding loopholes there. For them, the label acts as the savior. After all, one cannot be pleaded guilty when they have clearly followed the existing laws. Thus, bath salt abuse presents a complicated situation for the law enforcement authorities

Owing to the deadly effects of bath salt abuse and accidental overdose, many local authorities are working to ban these products.

Bath Salt Stats and Stories

Bath salt stats are surely scary. The number of abusers has increased by many folds in the recent years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says emergency room visits due to the complications from bath salt abuse is rising. Unfortunately, there are also reports of death at the time of the visit.

Factors That Promote Bath Salt Abuse

  • Easy availability. You can get them at tobacco shops, convenience stores, adult book stores, gas stations, and truck stops. More recently, online vendors have also started to sell these products.
  • Low price. Unlike cocaine or heroin, you don’t have to spend a lot to purchase a bath salt product. It is available at a price as low as $20 per package.
  • Apparently, legal status. The law bans the use of the ingredients in these products. Nonetheless, it does very little to ensure how you use it. In essence, buying the product may be legal but using may not be.

Common Health Effects of Bath Salt Abuse

Depending on the dose taken and method of administration, the health effects can range from agitation to suicide or even homicide. The following list gives the common health effects of bath salt abuse

  • Anxiety
  • Aggressive behavior.
  • Increased heartbeat (tachycardia).
  • Seeing or hearing things that are not there (hallucinations).
  • Delusional thoughts.
  • Tremors
  • Paranaria
  • seizures
  • Loss of sleep.
  • The tendency of harm to the Self or others

The tendency of harm to the self or others. .

The effects are likely to be more severe if the abuser combines a bath salt product with alcohol or any other drug.

Know the Common Treatments atthe ERfor Bath Salt Abuse

At the emergency room, the doctors will most likely give benzodiazepine medication to control seizures and agitation. Once stable, the patient may need psychiatric consultation.

What You Can Do to Prevent Bath Salt Abuse in Your Loved Ones

The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) urges parents and teachers of teenagers to closely watch their kids and report any unusual behavior indicative of abuse.

In addition to monitoring your loved one, you may also want to consider the following tips.

  • Take note of their expenses. Increasing demand for pocket money is a strong indicator of a possible drug abuse problem.
  • Talk to them if their behavior has changed recently. Social withdrawal, unusual mood swings, aggressiveness, and violent behaviors are some signs that warrant immediate action.
  • See if they have recently joined a new group of friends. In fact, abuse and addictive behaviors often flourish in a group.
  • Watch for physical signs such as their appearance, skin changes and marks of injection.
  • Talk to an addiction counselor if you are sure your loved one is abusing bath salts or any other drugs.

Want To Know More?

To learn more about bath salt abuse and its treatments, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

Salt and Your Heart: Know The Link To Stay Healthy

It does not take a great mind to know that salt and your heart are very closely related. We have been hearing about this since our childhood. But, do you really know how excess salt could lead to high blood pressure? Or how much salt is considered to be healthy? Can you name the top six high sodium foods?

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These are some of the most frequently asked questions that often have no answers. In this article, we will give you a clear idea about the link between salt and your heart.

Before we move on to explore more on the link, let’s have a quick look at blood pressure statistics in the US. In fact, the numbers could be scary enough to make you change your bad habits.

According to the CDC, about 33% of U.S. adults have high blood pressure or hypertension. That is equal to about 75 million people. Unfortunately, half of them are struggling with uncontrolled blood pressure. That said, these people are more likely to have other heart diseases and stroke. Did you know that heart disease and stroke are among the top killers in the US?

What is Salt?

The salt in your favorite soup has many physiological functions apart from teasing your taste buds. For a common person, salt means table salt, a white powder that renders the foods saline. Chemically, it is sodium chloride.

Sodium is an essential electrolyte chiefly present outside the cells, the extracellular fluids. An optimum electrolyte-balance inside the body is key to ensuring:

  • A healthy blood pH (the measure of acidity/alkalinity of the blood),
  • You are well hydrated.
  • Your nerves, heart, and muscles are working properly.

Specifically, sodium chloride has a central role in the maintenance of blood pressure and water-content of the body.

Why Too Much Salt is Bad for Your Heart

The relation between salt and your heart is not very friendly. In fact, it has something to do with the water content of the body.

Salt has a unique property to hold onto water. That said, when its amount in the body is high, your body will retain more water. Conversely, when the salt concentration dips, you experience dehydration as more water is lost.

Thus, when the salt-water balance disrupts due to an excessive intake of salt, the heart and blood vessels need to work harder to restore the balance. As a result, some people can develop high blood pressure.

Salt and the Heart: How Much is Needed for a Healthy Heart?

According to the American Heart Association, a person should not have more than 2,300 mg of salt in a day. However, the ideal limit is even lower, 1,500 mg per day.

No doubt, most Americans have more salt they should. The daily salt intake of an average American is 3,400 mg. Interestingly, many of them do not realize it. Isn’t it high time to take note of how much salt you are taking daily?

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Which High Sodium Foods You Should Not HaveforaHealthy Heart

As a matter of fact, the original salt content of a food may be quite lower. However, during preparation, people add additional salt for better taste. This is exactly where you should take care. Remember the last dinner at a top restaurant in the town? Restaurant foods are notorious for their high sodium content. Thus, eat out less frequently.

Moreover, make sure to read food labels before buying. Packaged and processed foods are also not far behind in the race!

Foods that contain very high amount of added salt are categorized as the “Salty Six”. Here are the members. Limit their intake or absolutely avoid if your doctor suggests.

  1. Breads and rolls
  2. Cold cuts and cured meats
  3. Pizza
  4. Poultry
  5. Soup
  6. Sandwiches

A quick reminder: Many foods that are not on the list are not free of guilt either. For example, potato chips.

Have These Instead

Well, it might not be always possible to completely give up high-sodium foods. After all, they seem to be more satisfying. The better way would be to replace or supplement them with healthy habits. Here are some heart healthy diet patterns you may want to consider.

  • Have a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Frozen and canned alternatives are not bad either. Do not forget to watch the labels for the calorie count.
  • Whole grains that are rich in fibers are better than refined foods.
  • Take note of the type of meat you eat. Instead of red meats, eat poultry and fish Cook them without adding much salt and oil.
  • Fish such as salmon is a good source of healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids. Enjoy fish at least twice a week.
  • Choose naturally low-fat or fat-free milk products.
  • Limit your intake of beverages and foods that contain added sugars.
  • Cut down on alcohol intake. The safe level of drinking is no more than one drink per day for a woman and no more than two drinks per day for a man.
  • If you smoke, quit right away. If you need professional help, talk to your doctor to learn which strategies might help.

Want To Know More?

To learn more about the link between salt and your heart, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

 

 

Salt and Your Heart

Did you know that the average American consumes more than twice the amount of sodium recommended by the American Heart Association? And worldwide people on average consume nearly double the levels recommended by the World Health Organization. Researchers have found that this consumption contributes to 2.3 million deaths per year from cardiovascular disease, primarily from coronary heart disease, which causes heart attack, and stroke.

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You can’t change your age or your family history of heart disease, but your sodium intake is a heart disease risk factor that you can do something about, starting today. Read on for information about why sodium can be harmful to your heart health as well as practical tips for reducing sodium for a more heart-healthy diet.

Salt, also known as sodium chloride, is the most common form of sodium in American diets. While your body needs a little sodium to keep it healthy, most of us eat much more than the 1,500 mg per day recommended by the American Heart Association, and excessive sodium often leads to high blood pressure. Too much sodium can cause the body to retain water, increasing blood volume, which can result in greater force against the walls of the blood vessels that carry blood throughout the body. This force is what is measured during a blood pressure test:  Too much force is high blood pressure (hypertension).

Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” because chronic high blood pressure typically has no symptoms. When the pressure is elevated so high as to be immediately life-threatening, it may cause headache, blurred vision, chest discomfort, or shortness of breath. Normal blood pressure is measured as no higher than 120/80 mmHg. Over time, high blood pressure damages the blood vessels, making them susceptible to the disease process that causes heart attack and stroke.

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If you have normal blood pressure or have successfully managed your hypertension with medication, then you may be tempted to indulge in salty foods. Beware, because too much sodium can damage the heart and kidneys independent of high blood pressure, and studies have shown that sodium can interfere with the same medications often prescribed to treat hypertension.

If you already have cardiovascular disease, managing your salt intake is critical to the quality and length of your life. This is especially true for patients with congestive heart failure (CHF), for whom higher blood volume can mean additional strain on an already struggling heart.

How to control sodium intake:

  • If it’s in a package, start reading. Ideally, you will eat as few prepackaged, processed foods as possible. When you do buy prepackaged foods, read the Nutrition Facts label on the product and choose items that have lower amounts of sodium.
  • Start little ones out right. If you buy packaged foods for toddlers and children, check the sodium content of those foods carefully. According to a recent study, more than 70% of commercially prepared meals and 50% of savory snacks sold for toddlers had higher than recommended sodium levels.
  • Watch out for hidden sources of sodium. You might be surprised by how often salt is along for the ride when you indulge your sweet tooth. Commercially baked cakes and cookies – though not commonly thought of as salty foods – can have high sodium levels.
  • Resist pouring it on.Skip or go light on condiments such as ketchup, mustard, and soy sauce. Try lower-sodium options for enhancing flavor.

Contact your healthcare provider and ask all of your questions. Any time you have health questions, the conversations you have with your doctor are the key to successful results. Ask every question you have.

Drink and Avoid to Stay Hydrated

Not drinking enough water before a morning run, sweating a ton at the gym, forgetting a water bottle to sip during spin class, and steamy temps are surefire ways to put us on a path to dehydration doom. Staying hydrated while exercising is important because of the added sweat loss (compared to day-to-day activities like working at a desk or watching TV). Tossing back some H2O while working out can also help us fight fatigue and prolong endurance.  Before you turn into a raisin inside and out, check out these great ways to prevent mid-workout dehydration.

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  1. Eat It Up

Who says you can’t have your water — and eat it, too? According to the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations we should eat 20 percent of our daily water intake. Soup, yogurt and oatmeal are all great fluid-filled foods, but these summer-friendly fruits and veggies can also help with hydration. Next time you’re feeling thirsty, pile these on your plate.

  1. Bring On Sports Drinks and Coconut Water

When we sweat, we lose electrolytes, which are minerals found in the blood that help to regulate (among other things) the amount of water in the body. Research suggests and sports drinks, such as Powerade and Gatorade, can help prolong exercise and rehydrate our bodies because they contain electrolytes, which plain old water does not.  While an ordinary workout may not require electrolyte-replenishing, those participating in longer and more intense periods of exertion, such as running a marathon or going through a particularly intense workout, will benefit from a good dose of electrolytes mid-workout.

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  1. Turn to fruit

Many fruits are a great source of both electrolytes and fluids, though the dose of electrolytes can differ from fruit to fruit.  Bananas and dates are known for having high levels of the electrolyte potassium, making them a great option for refueling during an intense workout (for example, a long run).  To stay hydrated while keeping up electrolytes, it’s important to drink water while munching on fruit (fruit contains some water, but not as much as your water bottle).

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  1. Weigh yourself

Hop on the scale before and after exercise. For each pound lost during activity, drink an additional 16 ounces of fluid. If your body weight change is three percent or more, you may be experiencing significant to serious dehydration. Losing a few pounds of body weight after exercise can put strain on the body and result in uncomfortable side effects like muscle cramps, dizziness, and fatigue.  To prevent sweating away the water that keeps us hydrated, have a water bottle at the ready.

  1. Check the toilet

If you’re taking a mid-set break to hit the loo, check on the color of your urine to make sure you’re staying hydrated. When properly hydrated, urine should be pale yellow in color. Though it may be tricky to keep an eye on it, try to watch the urine stream, since the color of urine will dilute when it hits the toilet water. Store this handy, dandy urine color test in your phone or wallet to make sure your piddle is up to snuff—dark yellow urine may indicate dehydration.

Next time you plan for a sweat sesh, keep these tips in mind for a safe, hydrated workout.

What to Drink and What to Avoid to Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is critically important to ensure overall good health. Your body uses water and other fluids to clear off the toxins and maintain optimal temperature. In addition, it also helps to deliver nutrients to the cells. Many situations and some disorders can drain fluids out of your body. Most notably, it’s during the summer that people lose more water

how-to-stay-hydratedThis may lead to many health problems. For example, dizziness, sunken eyes and dry mouth, extreme weakness, and little urine. All of us know that we should drink water to stay hydrated. But other drinks can give you similar benefits as well. Moreover, avoiding some foods and drinks can help you cut down water loss.

Why Water Isthe Most Preferred Fluid to Stay Hydrated

“No water, no life. No blue, no green”. Anything about water cannot be truer than this. In fact, the clear, colorless, odorless, and tasteless liquid forms the basis of life.

Water is devoid of calories and does not contain any additives. Also, not to forget that it is wallet-friendly and readily available.

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How Much Water Do You Need In A Day?

This is a common question, but finding the answer is often tricky. Because many factors influence your need, an exact number might be missing in almost every case. Nonetheless, some guidelines may help you figure out how much water you should drink.

According to The Institute of Medicine, about 3 liters of total water (for males) and 2.2 liters (for females) everyday may be considered enough. But there is something more to this than just the numbers. First, the total beverages do not mean you should take only water. Next, your intake can change according to the level of activity, climatic factors, health conditions, and body weight.

Another popular recommendation is eight glasses per day. While this has not been fully supported by the evidence, you could give it a try. In fact, the “eight glasses per day guideline”is quite close to that given by The Institute of Medicine.

In general, it is not an uphill task to find out how much water you need in a day. Nonetheless, if you cannot make up your mind, you may consult a dietician or nutritionist.

What Other Drinks You Can Have To Stay Hydrated?

It’s not always that you should gulp down gallons to keep you from dehydration. Other, probably tastier, options are also available. Drinks other than water also contain some amounts of water in them.

Consider the following foods and drinks in addition to water.

  • Take fruit juices but count the calories.
  • Drink unsweetened iced tea and coffee in moderation.
  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables that have high water content. For example, watermelon, cucumber, and spinach. In addition to providing water, they are also good sources of healthy dietary fibers.
  • If you love the taste of beer or wine, you could drink them too. Just make sure not to cross the recommended limits. If you have more, they might cause dehydration. Drink the same amount of water for each alcoholic drink you have.

What You Should Avoid To Stay Hydrated

Interestingly, some drinks can actually cause dehydration. This is more likely when you overdo them. For example, it is generally safe to drink a few cups of coffee or tea everyday. But when you have more than four cups, your body starts losing water. Caffeine, the active chemical in coffee and tea promotes the loss of fluids through urine. Alcoholic drinks also have the same effects on your body.

The key, here, is not avoiding all the drinks you love. But drink in moderation so the net loss of water does not cause any health issues.

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Key Takeaways

  • Your body needs fluids to run its day-to-day physiological functions. In fact, it is essential for almost every function inside the body.
  • Hydration is important for your heart, too. When you have high blood pressure, the amount of sodium in the body is high. To flush the excess salt, you need to drink more water.
  • Dehydration is a condition that results when you do not have enough fluids. Failing to stay hydrated as per your body’s needs can lead to many adverse health effects. Unfortunately, some can be life-threatening. Chronic dehydration, on the other hand, is a long-term condition and results when you consume very little fluids for years.
  • Certain situations or health conditions can increase the need for fluids. For example, summer activities, hot climate, and diabetes.
  • Severe dehydration is a medical emergency, especially among children. It may result due to severe diarrhea or vomiting. Watch for the dangerous signs such as extremely dry mouth and eyes, very little or no urine, fainting and extreme weakness or dizziness.
  • Do not gulp down all fluids at once. Instead, drink glasses throughout the day. The most appropriate way might be to drink a glass with each meal or while taking medicine.
  • Have water or any sports drink during exercise to avoid dehydration.
  • Very rarely, drinking too much water can be harmful. But the risk is almost zero for an average person. What actually happens is, too much water flushes out the essential electrolytes. This results in a condition called hyponatremia.

Want To Know More?

To learn more about what you should drink and avoid to stay hydrated, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

 

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With new healthcare technologies emerging every day and rapid scientific advances taking place at a fast pace, physicians are increasingly pressed to adapt to society’s changes & challenges and the escalating need to deliver effective patient care as patients have also grown more demanding and have developed higher expectations. Feeding positive patient reviews in real-time right from the office is what the Findatopdoc Review Kiosk is all about. For more latest health information technology about this new and exciting product launched,