E-HEALTH: Roundup of New Developments
Here is a look at what is new in the world of e-health:
- MedLecture.com: Maine-based Acadia Group Inc. announced plans to launch a new Web site Jan. 19 called MedLecture.com. Each year doctors are required to complete 50 hours of classes covering the latest developments in technological advances and medical procedures. This first-of-its-kind site will allow physicians to take the classes via the Internet and relieves them of the need to take a follow-up exam to verify they learned the material. To prove their "attendance" and earn credit, doctors will click on a button or type in a password during three unexpected points during an hour-long lecture. Targeting family physicians, each class costs $10 (Rosenburg, Boston Globe, 1/4).
- Drkoop.com: Drkoop.com Inc., a health care informational site, announced that Warner-Lambert Co. will sponsor its expanded Diabetes Center. According to the one-year contract, several Warner- Lambert products will be advertised on the Diabetes Center section of the drkoop.com page. Founded by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and other Internet health companies, the site has recently been criticized for failing to reveal sponsorship agreements with health-care and drug companies (Wall Street Journal, 12/28).
- Healtheon/WebMD Corp.: Atlanta-based Internet health care company Healtheon/Web MD announced plans to acquire Kinetra, a joint venture of Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Eli Lilly and Co. Each year, Kinetra processes more than 50 million electronic clinical transactions for more than 200 health care organizations. The transaction, including the acquisition of Kinetra and the partnerships with EDS and Eli Lilly, is valued at roughly $300 million (Alta Vista Live, 12/22). Healtheon will also team up with HNC Software Inc. to offer doctors and insurers the option of processing workers' compensation and auto-injury claims over the Internet. Service is expected to begin midsummer (Wall Street Journal, 1/6).
- Kaiser Permanente Online: Kaiser Permanente is offering its 20,000 members in San Joaquin County the opportunity to participate in a new pilot program for making online appointments. Patients wishing to make an appointment with seven doctors working at the north Stockton offices or at the Manteca clinic can go online to make or cancel appointments. The trial will last for at least two-and-a-half months. Kaiser Permanente is also exploring other potential projects, including online prescription refills and a direct patient-doctor e-mail system (Stockton Record, 1/5).