HealthESites
September 12, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 32
ISSN 1530-3608
______________________________________________________


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

If you experience problems with long URLs breaking across
multiple lines, read this issue on the Web at
http://silverhammerpub.com/health/health9_12_2001.html

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


Editor's Note
______________________________________________________

In light of yesterday's barbaric attacks in the United States,
at first it seemed horribly inappropriate to even consider
publishing today. I especially felt this because I live and work
less than 10 miles from the Pentagon, where fires continue
burning out of control and an unknown number of people remain
buried in the rubble as I write this.

But upon further reflection, I realized that I had to publish.
Publishing is my infinitesimal contribution to keeping the lines
of communication open among people around the world, to sharing
the knowledge that can make all of our lives better, and to
affirming that we will not allow terrorists to control our lives.
Nonetheless, like everyone else my thoughts remain with the
victims and their loved ones.

--Bruce Maxwell


The News
______________________________________________________

HIS MEMORY RETURNS, BYTE BY BYTE
After suffering a vicious beating in a Paris suburb, Pascal
Triomphe awoke with no memory of who he was or how to function
in the world. The Internet helped him rebuild his life - and his
will to live.
Source: Wired News - Sept. 10, 2001
http://www.wired.com/news/print/0,1294,46456,00.html


WEB COMPANY OFFERS DRUGS IN U.S. AT
CANADIAN PRICES
Starting in January, the Canadian firm Online Direct plans to
start supplying prescription drugs to Americans who order through
the Web, e-mail, fax, or phone. Orders will be taken by Wellness
Web, an Online Direct subsidiary in Michigan, and then sent to
Canada for filling. Americans who buy prescription drugs in
Canada commonly save 40 percent to 70 percent over American
prices.
Source: Reuters Health - Sept. 7, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010907/hl/drugs_2.html


SENIORS HAVE NEW FRIEND ON WEB
The National Council on Aging has launched a Web site
(http://www.benefitscheckup.org) where seniors can determine the
specific federal benefits, including health benefits, for which
they qualify. The site also explains how to claim the benefits.
Source: WESH NewsChannel2000.com - Sept. 7, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/wesh/20010907/lo/902695_1.html


SITES @ HAND: HOW TO GET BEYOND THE BASICS
WITH YOUR HANDHELD
Skip the article, which is pretty useless, and go directly to the
"Additional Information" section at the end. It provides an
annotated list of Web sites devoted to handheld devices such as
Palm Pilots. Some of the sites are specifically targeted at
physicians, while others are more general.
Source: American Medical News - Sept. 10, 2001
http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/amnews/pick_01/tesa0910.htm


GERMAN CONTROVERSY OVER
ELECTRONIC PATIENT CARD
Germany's health minister has proposed that all citizens be
issued electronic cards containing their prescription drug
records. The aim would be to avoid writing prescriptions that
might dangerously interact with each other, and the idea is
backed by Germany's pharmaceutical industry. However, significant
opposition has arisen, primarily based on cost rather than
privacy concerns.
Source: The Lancet - Sept. 8, 2001
http://www.thelancet.com/journal/vol358/iss9284/full/
llan.358.9284.news.17622.7



RECENT ADVANCES IN TELEMEDICINE
This article reviews recent studies about the cost effectiveness
of telemedicine in a variety of situations, ranging from home
nursing care to consultations between general practitioners and
specialists. It concludes that telemedicine is often cost
effective, but that attitudes frequently interfere with
implementation. The editorial concludes that telemedicine may
have more of an impact in developing countries than in more
developed nations.
Source: British Medical Journal - Sept. 8, 2001
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/323/7312/557
Editorial: http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/323/7312/524


VERIFYING QUALITY AND SAFETY
IN HEALTH INFORMATICS SERVICES
The authors of this article argue that electronic health
informatics products are currently the most important healthcare
resource that remains unregulated. They conclude that regulation
is needed, and cite several instances where software errors and
other problems threatened patient health. They also recommend
creating a European accreditation standard for health Web sites.
Source: British Medical Journal - Sept. 8, 2001
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/323/7312/552


BRAIN PACEMAKERS
Implantation of brain pacemakers has been remarkably effective in
reducing tremors in people who have severe cases. Doctors are now
looking at using the pacemakers for a variety of conditions, even
though no one really knows why the devices work. The sidebar
tells the story of a guitarist who had a pacemaker implanted.
Sources: Technology Review - September 2001
http://www.techreview.com/magazine/sep01/hallall.asp
Technology Review - Aug. 14, 2001
http://www.techreview.com/web/basu/basu081401.asp


INFO ON QUESTIONABLE PHYSICIANS
LANGUISHES IN NATIONAL DATA BANK
The National Practitioner Data Bank is supposed to contain
records on all doctors who are sued for malpractice or who
undergo disciplinary actions for incompetence or misconduct. But
the database, which is closed to the public, has limited
usefulness because many of the organizations that are required to
file reports don't do so. Some of the worst offenders are HMOs
which, ironically, often use the database to check out new
physicians with whom they contract.
Source: Managed Care - August 2001
http://www.managedcaremag.com/archives/
0108/0108.databank.html


Need a 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.
______________________________________________________

Copyright 2001 Silver Hammer Publishing. All rights reserved
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