Web-Enabled Medicine: The Challenge of Ensuring Quality Information and Care
The Internet changes everything! Well, not exactly everything. The earth still gets its energy from the sun; Avogadro’s number is still 6.023 × 10 to the 23rd; the Red Sox and Cubs will never meet in a World Series. But access to information has never realized such potential before the Internet. It speeds to our monitor screens—a potentially bewildering array of formal speeches, barroom conversation, music, newspapers, television and radio programs, telegraph messages, magazines, movies, medical journals, esoteric research publications, and other assorted items. John Seely Brown has called it “an entirely new medium, likely to change nearly every aspect of how we live, work and learn” . The medical Internet encompasses eContent, eCommerce, eCommunity, eConnectivity, and now, even eCare and eCME (continuing education). The Internet knows neither geographic nor legal boundaries. Still, it is only a medium, not the message. As we move from a medium that delivers copious health information (eContent) to one that can transact eCommerce worldwide to one that will actually enhance the art and practice of medicine for patients and physicians alike (eConnectivity, eCare, and eCME), the challenge is to ensure the trustworthiness of information and care delivered as Web-enabled medicine on the Internet.
KeywordsClinical Decision Support Future Technology Application Service Provider Manage Care Company Good Business Practice
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