Drkoop.com, Medical Advisory Systems Launch Partnership
Medical information firm Medical Advisory Systems and the ehealth site drkoop.com have formed a three-year partnership to link the Web site's users with MAS' travel assistance and clinical trial referral programs, the Annapolis Capital reports. The Owings, Md.-based MAS was founded in 1982 "to provide 24-hour-a-day medical advice" to industrial ships at sea. In the new alliance, MAS will expand its services to include 24-hour health care advice from accredited physicians via e-mail and telephone to the "millions of American consumers" traveling abroad who lack medical coverage. Drkoop.com's 1.4 million registered users will have access to this program, which will be supported by MAS call centers located in 38 countries. The Web site will employ MAS "as the exclusive provider of new physician live chats, email and telephone services," drkoop.com President Edward Cespedes said. The two companies will also work together to recruit clinical trial participants through the drkoop.com site. MAS President and Chair Ron Pickett said, "We have been looking for a way to introduce our services to a broader audience. Our physicians are just a phone call away, 24/7. It is a great partnership -- Dr. Koop is an icon." Former Surgeon General and drkoop.com Chair and founder Dr. C. Everett Koop added, "This relationship will not only increase access to medical information and offer peace of mind for international travelers, but by accelerating the speed and efficiency of clinical trials, it also can have a real impact on advancing world health issues. This is, by far, the most important aspect" (Dickinson, Annapolis Capitol, 12/5).