August 9, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 16
Bruce Maxwell, Editor <email@example.com>
Silver Hammer Publishing <http://silverhammerpub.com>
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ORIGINAL REPORT: UPDATE ON AUSTRALIAN SUICIDES
A previous edition of HealthESites included articles from the
South China Morning Post and the Sydney Morning Herald reporting
that an elderly Australian couple had committed suicide after
consulting health information on the Internet and mistakenly
deciding the wife had cancer (see HealthESites July 26, 2000).
Several subscribers contended the story sounded like an urban
legend, and I promised to try to find more information.
Unfortunately, that effort has been unsuccessful. The source of
the story was Dr. David Rivett, chairman of the Australian
Medical Association's Council of General Practice, who discussed
it at a conference. I tracked down Dr. Rivett, but he has not
responded to repeated phone calls and e-mail messages. Without
Dr. Rivett's cooperation, it's impossible to prove or disprove
ON THE NET, RX-RATED BEATS X-RATED
The claim that more folks search for health information online
than search for pornography may be an urban legend. Nonetheless,
an ever-growing number of people are going online for health
information - and lots of them are ordering health-related
products while they're online.
Source: CNET News.com - Aug. 7, 2000
20,000 PROBLEM DOCS BROUGHT TO LIGHT
The nonprofit Public Citizen Health Research Group has released a
four-volume set of books listing more than 20,000 doctors who
have been disciplined by state medical boards for everything from
sex-related crimes to negligence. By the end of the year, the
Federation of State Boards of Medical Examiners hopes to post
similar data at a new Web site it's creating. The goal is to
provide biographical, educational, and disciplinary data on every
licensed physician in the United States.
Source: USA Today - Aug. 9, 2000
SCREENSAVERS COULD SAVE LIVES
Health companies are springing up that want to harness your
computer's downtime - and the downtime of thousands of others -
to help conduct scientific experiments. If enough people
participate, the companies expect to complete in days projects
that otherwise would take months.
Source: British Broadcasting Corp. - Aug. 8, 2000
U.S. BRINGS INTERNET PRESCRIPTION DRUG CHARGES
A pharmaceutical supply company and four individuals have been
indicted on federal charges of conspiring to illegally sell drugs
on the Internet. The indictment alleges that those charged sold
drugs such as Viagra, Xenical, Celebrex, Propecia, and Claritin-D
without valid prescriptions. The drugs were allegedly sold by the
Norfolk Men's Clinic in Alabama, which federal and local
authorities have been investigating for some time (see
HealthESites July 12, 2000). The clinic is housed in a strip
mall, and its owner - who has no medical background - previously
trained horses and cleaned aquariums for a living.
Source: Reuters - Aug. 7, 2000
THE E-DOCTOR IS NOW IN
Asia offers a huge array of health sites, including a number of
portals that cater specifically to Asians. This article lists the
URLs for some of the major portals, and concludes that Internet
information should only be used to supplement - not replace -
visits with a health care professional.
Source: Asiaweek.com - Aug. 11, 2000
DOT-COMS TRY TO SHIFT STORAGE OF MEDICAL RECORDS
A number of competing Internet companies think that instead of
residing on paper scattered among many medical offices, a
patient's entire medical record should be stored online at a
central site. They face some hurdles in achieving that goal, not
the least of which is convincing patients it's a good idea and
won't jeopardize their privacy.
Source: American Demographics - July 2000
THE WRITE STUFF
Within three years, up to a quarter of all doctors may be writing
prescriptions electronically on Palm Pilots and similar devices.
Before that can happen, though, pharmacies will have to upgrade
their technology to receive the prescriptions.
Source: Kiplinger's Magazine - August 2000
WIRELESS SOFTWARE LETS DOCTORS WRITE
PRESCRIPTIONS ON HANDHELDS
A California group with nearly 2,400 physicians is about to start
a pilot study of a handheld device on which physicians can write
and transmit prescriptions. The devices also will enable doctors
to quickly determine which drugs each health plan covers.
Source: MicroTimes - Aug. 1, 2000
HIGH-TECH CURE FOR MEDICAL MISTAKES
In an op-ed article, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pushes
his solution for ending medical errors: have Congress pass a bill
requiring that every patient record and every prescription be
Source: Washington Post - Aug. 2, 2000
PLANNING A WEB SITE? LOOK BEFORE YOU LINK
Links are the lifeblood of the Internet. But for doctors setting
up Web sites, linking to other sites can raise a host of issues
involving everything from anti-kickback laws to medical
Source: American Medical News - Aug. 14, 2000
SITE CONNECTS PATIENTS WITH CLINICAL TRIALS
A new Web site developed by a breast cancer survivor aims to help
patients find clinical trials of interest. The site, which will
debut this fall, has already received $3 million in first-round
Source: San Jose Mercury News - Aug. 3, 2000
MENTAL-HEALTH EXPERTS WORRY ABOUT PRIVACY,
ANONYMITY AND LEGALISSUES AS
ONLINE COUNSELING TAKES OFF
This article profiles a Phoenix woman who is creating a
full-service online counseling center. She claims that skepticism
about online counseling is simply a fear of the unknown.
Source: Arizona Republic - Aug. 3, 2000
DESIGNER DRUGS ONLINE
A wide range of designer drugs are available online to anyone,
including children. Some sellers are getting tricky in fooling
parents, packing the drugs in CD cases or computer software
Source: MSNBC - Aug. 7, 2000
WEB SITES ACT AS EXERCISE COACHES
Mouse potatoes take note: A number of fitness Web sites want to
lure you away from the keyboard and encourage you to do something
healthy, like taking a walk. Many of them are personalized, and
some even send e-mail messages either congratulating you on your
progress or pushing you to do better.
Source: Associated Press - Aug. 6, 2000
CHARTING PROGRESS IN WEB HEALTH CARE
More than 20,000 health-related sites and portals exist on the
Internet, according to this article. It looks at some of the
major players and discusses future trends.
Source: Inter@ctive Week - Aug. 2, 2000
Because the News section ran so long this week, the Sites section
is taking a temporary hiatus.
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