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"Doctom's Top 10" from the Intel/IHC Meetings

Intel's Internet Health Day II (Oct 12) and the Internet Healthcare Coalition's Annual meeting (Oct 13) provided two intense days of networking and idea exchange. Here are my own personal "Top 10" take-aways. For more on the meetings, including online videos of many of the presentations, check out the conference Web sites:

  1. A Kaiser team reported that after their patient Web site (kponline.org) became available, Kaiser docs found that they had 10 percent more free time in their clinic schedule. (Source: Anna-Lisa Silvestre, 510.267.2811)

  2. Percentages of physicians using the Internet has increased from 3 percent in 1995 to 80 percent in 1999. (Source: George Lundberg, www.medscape.com, 212.760.3138)

  3. Gunther Eysenbach, from the University of Heidelberg's Department of Cybermedicine, announced a new publication, the Journal of Medical Internet Research. You can check it out at www.symposion.com/jmir. (Source: Gunther Eysenbach( or gunther.eysenbach@derma.med.uni-erlangen.de), telephone 49 211 8 66 93-0)

  4. Ian Morrison reported that in a recent survey, 91 percent of consumers who had searched for health information online said that they were able to find what they were looking for. (Source: Ian Morrison, www.bway.net/~morrison, 212.222.3835)

  5. A University of Michigan survey found that since most online patients would like to exchange e-mail with their doctors, but few physicians now offer online patient services, "there is a great opportunity to to faciliate electronic communication between patients and physicians." (Source: The Choices Program, Univ. of Michigan, camoyer@umich.edu, www.med.umich.edu/choices/, 734.936.4636)

  6. Best analogy-Richard Rockefeller compared pre-online healthcare to air traffic controllers who tell pilots what to do--and Information Age healthcare to the new state-of-the-art pilot guidance systems that allow pilots to navigate safely on their own, with little or no need for air traffic controllers. (Source: Richard Rockefeller, Health Commons Institute, 207.781.1675)

  7. Best question from the audience--"What if physicians reconceptualized what they did as 'proactive customer service for people with health concerns,' as opposed to 'practicing medicine,' i.e. sitting in a clinic waiting for someone with a health problem to come in?"

  8. Best marketing mantra overheard in the exhibit area-"Docs are in a software war and they don't even know it. We make bullets."

  9. Most unMcLuhanesque statement by a keynote speaker: "The Internet is the medium, not the message." (Source: George Lundberg, www.medscape.com, 212.760.3138)

  10. Most surprising meeting to walk into-Behind the scenes at the Intel meeting, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, chairman of drkoop.com, called together the top executives of a dozen leading I-net health companies to propose a council that would set ethical guidelines for the industry. (Source: thestandard.com/articles/display/0,1449,7101,00.html)

Published in The Ferguson Report, Number 6, Sep/Oct 1999


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Copyright © 1999-2003 Tom Ferguson, M.D. The Ferguson Report is a free e-mail newsletter published at unpredictable intervals for the friends and associates of Tom Ferguson. ISSN 1520-5487