HealthESites
November 14, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 38
ISSN 1530-3608
______________________________________________________


Bruce Maxwell, Editor - bmax@silverhammerpub.com
Silver Hammer Publishing - http://silverhammerpub.com

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The News
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SEEKING RELIABLE INFORMATION,
PUBLIC LOGS ON TO HEALTH SITES
These days, physicians and consumers alike are scrambling to find
the latest, most reliable information about how to fight
bioterrorism. For many, their primary source of information has
become the Internet.
Source: Wall Street Journal - Nov. 9, 2001
http://interactive.wsj.com/fr/emailthis/
retrieve.cgi?Id=SB100525873580182240.djm



TOUGH PILL TO SWALLOW
Trying to avoid a backlash, supplement industry groups have
issued statements saying that dietary supplements are not
effective at preventing or treating anthrax. The statements came
after numerous Web sites and e-mail campaigns sprang forth
offering various "all-natural" cures for anthrax. Meanwhile, the
Associated Press reports that the director of the National Center
for Complementary and Alternative Medicine testified before
Congress that there's no evidence that alternative treatments,
including many promoted on the Internet, are effective against
biological weapons.
Sources: Washington Post - Nov. 13, 2001
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18146-2001Nov12.html
Associated Press - Nov. 14, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011114/us/
attacks_anthrax_15.html



THE DOCTOR IS IN...CYBERSPACE
This article is an excerpt from "Dr. Ian Smith's Guide to Medical
Websites," written by the "Today" medical correspondent. It
purports to list the best health Web sites. One can easily argue
with some of the choices (and exclusions), but what's scary is an
incredibly stupid statement Smith makes in the article. In a
description of the National Library of Medicine's Web site, he
writes: "Physical medical libraries, beware - this site could one
day put you out of business!" There have been a lot of idiotic
things written about online health information, but Smith's
statement ranks right near the top.
Source: MSNBC - Nov. 8, 2001
http://www.msnbc.com/news/654114.asp?cpl=l


NAVIGATING ACROSS MEDICINE'S ELECTRONIC LANDSCAPE,
STOPPING AT PLACES WITH PUB OR CENTRAL IN THEIR NAMES
This article examines several current efforts to provide free
online access to the world's biomedical literature. It concludes
that the Web is likely to disrupt the current publishing model,
"although exactly how is hard to predict."
Source: British Medical Journal - Nov. 10, 2001
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/323/7321/1120


ETHICAL ISSUES IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH ON
INTERNET COMMUNITIES
Internet newsgroups, discussion boards, mailing lists, and chat
rooms offer a huge amount of information of interest to health
researchers seeking qualitative data. This article examines the
ethical issues involved in using the data, with a particular
focus on privacy and informed consent.
Source: British Medical Journal - Nov. 10, 2001
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/323/7321/1103


HOSPITAL LINKS PHYSICIANS TO
ONLINE CLINICAL INFORMATION
A small Indiana hospital wanted to give its admitting physicians
remote access to electronic patient records, but was concerned
about security and privacy issues. The solution was to buy
several Internet service providers (ISPs) so it would have
complete control over the technology.
Source: American Medical News - Nov. 12, 2001
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/tesa1112.htm


MERCK-MEDCO OPENS 'PHARMACY OF FUTURE'
Merck-Medco, a pharmacy benefit manager, has opened the world's
largest automated pharmacy. Workers at the seven-acre building
can fill up to 6,700 prescriptions an hour, and company officials
say their quality control system ensures that the proper medicine
ends up in the right bottle.
Source: Associated Press - Nov. 11, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011111/bs/
merck_medco_pharmacy_2.html



AUTO-PRESCRIPTION MACHINE UNVEILED
A Minneapolis pediatricians' office is the first test site for a
machine that automatically fills prescriptions. Users insert
their prescription and a credit card. The machine verifies the
prescription, checks insurance records, selects a bottle that
already contains the right dose and amount of medicine, pastes on
an instruction label, and presents the bottle to the user.
Source: Associated Press - Nov. 12, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011112/hl/
automating_prescriptions_1.html



PHONE SYSTEM DETECTS EARLY SIGNS OF DEMENTIA
Researchers funded by the National Institute on Aging report
they've developed a computerized telephone system that can help
identify people who are suffering from the early signs of
dementia. The touch-tone system is not designed to diagnose
dementia, but instead is aimed at encouraging people who score
poorly to make appointments with their physicians.
Source: Reuters Health - Nov. 14, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011114/hl/dementia_1.html


'FATHER OF FEN-PHEN' SENTENCED
A physician convicted of prescribing the diet drug combination
fen-phen over the Internet to patients he never examined has been
sentenced to 45 months in prison by a federal judge in Baltimore.
Prosecutors said that Pietr Hitzig prescribed fen-phen for a
variety of illnesses, ranging from drug addiction to AIDS.
Source: Associated Press - Nov. 9, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011109/us/
fen_phen_trial_1.html


Need a Freelance Writer or Researcher?
______________________________________________________

The editor of this newsletter is a full-time freelance writer
and researcher who's available for a variety of assignments -
articles, brochures, books, Web consultations, or a nice e-mail
newsletter like this one - about health or other topics. He has
20 years of professional writing experience, and has written
several books about searching the Internet. If you'd like to
learn more, visit http://bmaxwell.home.mindspring.com, send an
e-mail to bmaxwell@mindspring.com, or call 703-532-6327.
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