Saturday, December 25, 2010

11th World Congress on Internet in Medicine

by: Charles E. Donovan

The 11th World Congress on Internet in Medicine sponored by Mednet is being held this week in Toronto Canada. The Conference has over 1,000 attendees including Microsoft's Director of the Health Industry, Intel.'s Managing Director of Health Care and the National Director of Marketing at the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control(CDC).
Mednet 2006 is Improving Public Health through the Internet. I have attended many of the workshops and symposiums. The presentations have covered Research, Practice, and Business, shedding light on the topics from different angles. There is a mix of contributed abstracts, panels, and keynote speakers. Research abstracts contain original research results. practice abstracts contain presentations of useful medical websites or other eHealth technologies (without a strong evaluation component), and abstracts in the business track present business models, business issues, business ideas etc. It is an outstanding program.
More and more consumers are turning to the internet to search for information their specific disease or health care issue. And the challenge of the Conference is to make healh care more accessible, affordable and convenient for the consumer. There are over 100 workshops, but here is a summary of the basic themes of this very important worldwide conference:
* patient portals; * putting electronic health records online; * etrials: using the web and etechnologies for clinical trials; * public (e-)health, population health technologies, surveillance; * Health information on the web: Supply and Demand; * Next-generation Internet health applications; * semantic web applications and search engine technologies; * psychobehavioral interventions on the Internet; * evaluation and methodological issues in ehealth; * web-based medical education; * health communication on the internet; * Internet for disease prevention; * ehealth for chronic diseases; * online pharmacies; * usability and human factors on the web; * telehealth and medical practice using IP technologies; * business opportunities in ehealth; * health-e body weight: ehealth technologies for healthy eating and active lifestyle; * cancer and the Internet (cancer-track kindly sponsored by the U.S. National Cancer Institute) * web-assisted tobacco interventions. * Internet based publishing and peer-review; * Open Access publishing in medicine; * failures in eHealth I was surprised at the importance of providing an interactive web site for the consumer regardless of of his/her disease. It is remarkable the amount of evidenced based web site interactivity that various healthcare providers are designing to improve patient outcomes. I hope to incorporate some of these functions into my own web site
Charles Donovan was a patient in the FDA investigational trial of vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for chronic or recurrent treatment-resistant depression. He was implanted with the vagus nerve stimulator in April of 2001. He chronicles his journey from the grips of depression thanks to vagus nerve stimulation therapy in his book: i>Out of the Black Hole: The Patient's Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression His all inclusive book prepares depression sufferers to make an informed decision about this ninety-minute out-patient procedure. It is a "must read" before you discuss this treatment with your psychiatrist. A prescription for the procedure is required from an M.D. and it is covered by most insurance plans. He is the founder of the Web Site and Bulletin.

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