HealthESites
August 16, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 17
ISSN 1530-3608
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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.


Editor's Note
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HealthESites is taking a temporary hiatus so your editor can
catch his breath and enjoy the last few days of summer. Normal
weekly publication will resume September 13.


The News
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SHARP RISE IN 'NET SURFERS LOOKING FOR
HEALTH INFO
Ninety-eight million Americans look for health information on the
Internet, according to a survey by Harris Interactive. They
constitute 86 percent of American adults who are online.
Source: Reuters Health - Aug. 10, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000810/hl/surfers_2.html
Harris Interactive press release:
http://www.louisharris.com/harris_poll/index.asp


FIRM TRACKING CONSUMERS ON WEB FOR DRUG
COMPANIES
On behalf of many of the nation's largest pharmaceutical
companies, a Boston firm is surreptitiously tracking visitors to
thousands of Web pages that the firms operate. The company claims
that it only collects data in aggregate and doesn't identify
specific visitors, but its Web site suggests the firm may merge
tracking data with other information that will allow it to
identify individual visitors. Privacy advocates are outraged, and
Michigan's attorney general is threatening a lawsuit.
Source: Washington Post - Aug. 15, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25494-2000Aug14.html


'SENSITIVE' KAISER E-MAILS GO ASTRAY
Some customers of Kaiser Permanente received e-mail messages
meant for other customers when the company upgraded its Web site.
Some of the messages reportedly contained confidential personal
and medical information. Officials at Kaiser, which is one of the
largest health insurers in the United States, emphasized that the
problem did not involve a security breach of Kaiser's computer
system.
Source: Washington Post - Aug. 10, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64768-2000Aug9.html


LEARNING SURGERY ONLINE IN IRELAND
Surgical trainees in Ireland can now access an online surgical
training program developed by the Royal College of Surgeons in
Ireland and the Web technology company Intuition. The college
hopes to also market the program in other European countries, the
Middle East, and the Far East.
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association - Aug. 16,
2000
http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n7/full/jmn0816-3.html


DRDREW.COM DABBLES IN CASH-FOR-CONTENT CONCEPT
DrDrew.com (http://www.drdrew.com), a health site for teenagers,
plans to charge for some of its content starting next spring. The
site said a survey completed by about 15,000 users indicated that
56 percent would pay for personalized, anonymous health
information. Analysts are skeptical. The Web research firm
Jupiter Communications Inc. predicts that paid health content
online will generate just $75 million by 2003.
Source: Reuters - Aug. 15, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000815/wr/
health_drdrewcom_dc_1.html



DRKOOP.COM DELAYS ITS SECOND-QUARTER RESULTS
The ailing Web health site DrKoop.com has delayed release of its
second-quarter results, saying its bean counters have been tied
up in the search for new financing. Meanwhile, Inter@ctive Week
reports that traffic to the site is plummeting - down to 1.857
million unique visitors in May from 3.5 million in March.
Sources: Reuters - Aug. 16, 2000
http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/000816/n16489993.html
Inter@ctive Week - Aug. 14, 2000
http://www.zdnet.com/intweek/stories/news/0,4164,2615098,00.html


HEALTH CONTENT SCORECARD SHOWS PLAYERS
ON THE MEND
Health Web sites sponsored by individual doctors, hospitals, or
health plans are supplanting corporate sites, according to a
report released by Gomez.com. The report, titled "Summer 2000
Internet Health Content Scorecard," also says that as health
sites add more and more content, they're running into usability
problems as they try to integrate everything.
Source: Gomez.com - Aug. 12, 2000
http://gomez.com/features/article.cfm?topcat_id=0&col=73&id=5867
Full report:
http://www.gomez.com/scorecards/index.cfm?topcat_id=52


E-HEALTH FIRMS FAIL TO FULFILL PROMISE
A survey by the Internet market research firm Cyber Dialogue
found that nearly 15 million American adults would switch to
doctors who have Web sites, and nearly 12 million would switch to
doctors who communicate with patients through e-mail. Yet
companies that are trying to integrate the Internet into doctors'
practices are having trouble coordinating all the necessary
components, making existing systems both costly and time
consuming.
Source: American Medical News - Aug. 21, 2000
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_00/tel10821.htm


WHAT'S WRONG WITH NET PHARMACIES?
Some of the biggest Internet pharmacies have seen their stock
plunge, bringing them to the brink of death. Yet some of those in
the most trouble are likely to be the survivors when the industry
shakeout ends.
Source: E-Commerce Times - Aug. 11, 2000
http://www.ecommercetimes.com/news/articles2000/000811-1.shtml


HEALTH-CARE INDUSTRY LOOKS AT SECURITY RISKS
Much of the focus in securing electronic medical records centers
on building firewalls and other elaborate barriers to keep out
hackers. But as Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute recently
learned, even a temporary data entry clerk working in-house can
pose a risk.
Source: Computerworld - Aug. 14, 2000
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/frame/
0,1213,NAV47_STO48493,00.html



FLUORIDE FOES SPREAD THE WORD VIA INTERNET
Activists who oppose the fluoridation of public drinking water
are finding the Internet a handy place to gather information and
organize their campaigns. Fluoridation reduces tooth decay, but
opponents claim it also might be responsible for everything from
cancer to low IQs.
Source: Associated Press - Aug. 11, 2000
http://www.boston.com/dailynews/224/region/
Fluoride_foes_spread_the_word_:.shtml



HEALTHEON/WEBMD'S MISGUIDED PR SCHEME
An April press release by Healtheon/WebMD sent the company's
sliding stock price up 35 percent. There was just one problem:
the news it announced never happened.
Source: Forbes.com - Aug. 9, 2000
http://www.forbes.com/tool/html/00/Aug/0809/mu6.htm


CANADIANS USE INTERNET FOR HEALTH: SURVEY
Some 22 percent of Canadians polled in a survey by
PricewaterhouseCoopers used the Internet in the past year to find
health information. Fully nine percent of those surveyed said the
Internet was their primary source of health information, compared
to 33 percent who said their physician was their main source.
Source: Canadian Press - Aug. 16, 2000
http://www.canoe.ca/TechNews0008/16_survey.html


The Sites
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Because the News section ran so long again this week, the Sites
section is continuing its temporary break.


Will You Do Me a Favor?
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Bruce Maxwell
Silver Hammer Publishing
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Falls Church, VA 22042
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bmax@silverhammerpub.com

 

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