HealthESites
July 19, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 13
ISSN 1530-3608
______________________________________________________


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

Instructions for subscribing and unsubscribing are provided at
the end of this newsletter.


The News
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AUSTRALIAN COUPLE KILL THEMSELVES AFTER
WRONG DIAGNOSIS
Based at least partially on health information they found on the
Internet, an elderly Australian couple decided the wife had
cancer. Unable to bear the idea of being apart, they committed
suicide. An autopsy found the wife did not have cancer.
Source: Ananova - July 18, 2000
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_13093.html


PARENTS FIGHT FDA TO SAVE SON
An Arizona couple whose 4-year-old son was diagnosed with a fatal
brain tumor went online to learn about the recommended treatment
of radiation and chemotherapy. They found that the treatments can
have serious or even deadly consequences, and decided they
preferred an alternative therapy offered by a controversial Texas
doctor. Now they're fighting the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration to obtain the alternative treatment for their son.
Source: Wired News - July 18, 2000
http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,36763,00.html


'CELEBRITY E-DOCS' BROADEN ROLE AND REALM OF
MODERN MEDICINE
Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop may have been one of
the first, but today lots of celebrity doctors are opening Web
sites to plug their books, tapes, and practices. They're
struggling, however, with a host of financial and ethical issues.
Source: Los Angeles Times - July 14, 2000
http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/Jul2000/14-e351192b.html


WEBMD: A PORTAL WITH A HEALTHY FUTURE?
This article looks at how WebMD stacks up against other health
sites. Although WebMD gets high marks in many areas, its privacy
policy is enough to give one pause.
Source: Business Week - July 14, 2000
http://www.businessweek.com/ebiz/0007/el0714.htm


ONLINE ONCOLOGY CENTER CLOSE TO LAUNCH
A cancer Web site that's soon to be launched by Lifespire of San
Francisco aims to serve both doctors and patients. It will
provide clinical information, treatment data, support groups, and
merchandise related to cancer treatment. Analysts said the new
site will face stiff competition from existing sites.
Source: Red Herring - July 14, 2000
http://www.herring.com/industries/2000/0714/
ind-lifespire071400.html



ONLINE HEALTHCARE CONSUMERS FOCUSED ON PRIVACY
Any online health site that wants to attract customers must
handle their concerns about privacy, ethical, and security
issues, according to a new report from Cyber Dialogue's Health
Practice. The study found that 6.3 million online users do not
access Internet health information primarily because of privacy
and security concerns. Many users fear that simply searching for
general health information online will result in repercussions
from health insurers and employers.
Source: PRNewswire - July 12, 2000
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/000712/ny_cyber_d_3.html


PATIENT PRIVACY NOT GUARANTEED ON MANY WEBSITES
Also on the privacy front, the Association of American Physicians
and Surgeons has issued a bulletin warning patients that "Health
Web Sites May be Hazardous to Your Privacy." Millions of patients
are expected to receive the alert through doctors' offices.
Source: Reuters - July 13, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000713/hl/www_privacy_1.html


DRKOOP.COM - ONLY MONTHS TO LIVE?
In the ongoing soap opera surrounding Drkoop.com, the site
announced losses far higher than analysts had expected and the
resignations of two top executives. To add to the site's woes,
it's the subject of two class-action lawsuits that allege
securities fraud by key executives. One of the executives named
is former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, the site's
namesake.
Source: Upside Today - July 17, 2000
http://www.upside.com/News/397369190.html


MEDICONSULT.COM WHEELS OUT NEARLY HALF ITS STAFF
The Internet health information company Mediconsult.com is
repositioning itself in an effort to stay alive. The company has
put its consumer medical sites up for sale, saying they did not
attract enough advertising to survive, and has laid off half the
staff, or 100 employees. The company will now focus on services
to doctors, their patients, and the pharmaceutical industry.
Source: Industry Standard - July 14, 2000
http://www.thestandard.com/article/display/0,1151,16852,00.html


THE NET'S NUTRITIONAL VALUE
This article looks at some of the innovative features at "second
generation" diet and nutrition sites. It also notes that many of
the sites charge fees.
Source: Gomez.com - July 14, 2000
http://www.gomez.com/features/
article.cfm?topcat_id=0&col=73&id=5782



NEW YORK BILL OPENS UP DOCTOR MALPRACTICE DATA
ONLINE
The New York Legislature has passed a far-reaching bill that will
make extensive information about physicians available online.
Each physician profile will list state disciplinary actions in
the last decade, malpractice judgments and settlements, losses of
hospital privileges, publication and community service histories,
practice details, information about education and certification,
and details about criminal convictions within the past decade,
among other information. Needless to say, doctors aren't happy.
Source: American Medical News - July 24, 2000
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_00/prsb0724.htm


FTC'S QUACK ATTACK
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Federal Trade Commission,
and state attorney generals are all trying to crack down on phony
medicines and other types of health fraud online. But their
resources are severely limited, leaving consumers pretty much
fending for themselves in sorting through various product claims.
Source: Inter@ctive Week - July 17, 2000
http://www.zdnet.com/intweek/stories/news/0,4164,2603912,00.html


ONLINE DRUGSTORES LACK HUMAN TOUCH
Online drugstores are struggling with underdeveloped
infrastructures, according to a new report from Forrester
Research. A separate study by Greenfield Online reports that many
people avoid online drugstores because they can't talk to a
doctor or pharmacist.
Source: Cyber Atlas - July 17, 2000
http://cyberatlas.internet.com/markets/retailing/article/
0,1323,6061_416391,00.html

Greenfield Online press release:
http://www.greenfield.com/pages/go_article.asp?aid=1333


THE NET EFFECT FOR SINGLES: BABIES
The law in the Australian state of Victoria bars single women and
lesbians from receiving fertility treatments. So women in the two
groups who want to have children are ordering donor sperm over
the Internet from California clinics, and having it delivered to
clinics in Australian states that do not bar their fertility
treatments.
Source: The Age (Australia) - July 13, 2000
http://www.theage.com.au/news/20000713/A3259-2000Jul12.html


CAN YOU TRUST DOCTOR DOT-COM?
A number of health Web sites let users store their personal
health information online. Now if they could only guarantee the
privacy of that information.
Source: Money.com - July 18, 2000
http://www.money.com/money/depts/websmart/webwatch/archive/
000718.html



HEALTHY WEB SITES FOR SENIORS
Washington Post reporter Craig Stoltz describes five Web sites
that provide great health information for seniors. His picks:
MedlinePlus, Quackwatch, HealthScout, AARP, and ThirdAge.
Source: Washington Post - July 18, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61755-2000Jul18.html


WHERE TEENAGERS CAN GET THE REAL DEAL ON
VERY PERSONAL TOPICS
Health sites aimed at the other end of the age spectrum -
teenagers - are evaluated in this article. The sites discussed:
ZapHealth, Tampax.com, and Pimple Portal (what a great name!).
Source: Los Angeles Times - July 17, 2000
http://www.latimes.com/news/health/20000717/t000066979.html


STUDY SHOWS ONLINE HEALTH INSURANCE MAY OFFER
SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND
CONSUMERS
A new report by the California HealthCare Foundation says that
online shopping for health insurance should provide significant
benefits to consumers and small businesses. However, in
evaluating three sites that offer price quotes from multiple
health insurers, it found that the sites need to improve their
offerings and better protect users' privacy.
Source: Business Wire - July 17, 2000
http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/000717/ca_healthc.html
Full text of the report:
http://ehealth.chcf.org/ind_stud10/index_show.cfm?doc_id=162


The Sites
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Because the News section ran so long this week, the Sites section
is taking a temporary hiatus until next week.


Will You Do Me a Favor?
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Bruce Maxwell
Silver Hammer Publishing
6937 Custis Parkway
Falls Church, VA 22042
703-532-6327
bmax@silverhammerpub.com

 

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