‘DIGITAL GAP’: Berkeley, Stanford Host eHealth Summit
UC-Berkeley and Stanford University today are hosting an "e-Health Summit" to explore the "'digital gap' and how Internet access can provide valuable health information to underserved and 'unconnected' Americans," as well as the impact of e-commerce and technology on the health care field. Ed Penhoet, dean of UC-Berkeley's School of Public Health and summit co-chair, said, "We stand on the threshold of a new era in which we can foresee technology and the Internet converging to make a profound contribution to improving health for all Americans." He added, "The Internet has the capacity to empower people with health information and with increased access to appropriate health services. New technologies and information systems have a potential to deliver significantly higher quality health services -- but we are a long way from realizing that goal." Co-chair Phyllis Gardner, senior associate dean at Stanford School of Medicine, agreed, saying, "Utilizing the power of the Internet, new software and the expanded capabilities of large digital databases, we can improve the health and well-being of Americans, and bring efficiencies to medical centers and hospitals." Gardner noted that rising technologies will spur a revolution in medical training and patient care that will "help us decrease medical errors that lead to deaths in excess of 100,000 patients a year." Sponsored by the California Endowment, the Nasdaq Stock Market and Cisco Systems, the conference kicked off this morning with a roundtable meeting of executives and government, academic and community leaders, including Newt Gingrich and Mary Jo Deering of HHS. A second related event focusing on the "commercial agenda and opportunities developing in the sector" will be held May 7-9 at the Stanford School of Medicine. Slated to participate are Kaiser Foundation Health Plan CEO David Lawrence and Netscape and Healtheon founder Jim Clark (HealthWire, 2/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.