NEWSWEEK: Websites Offer ‘Good Medicine’
The current Newsweek features several health-related websites. "More than 17 million people now use the Net to find medical information," according to Cyber Dialogue, an Internet market-research firm. Newsweek reports that these Internet users are "joining disease-specific support groups, learning more about diagnoses and drugs, even getting government statistics." The article warns, however, that not all websites carry "reliable information." Some of the websites Newsweek recommends are:
- www.aaaai.org/nab -- American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. One running enthusiast uses this website to check the daily pollen count so he knows when his asthma can handle going outside.
- www.healthfinder.org -- The Department of Health and Human Services' Healthfinder is a resource for other health-related websites, offering links "mostly to government, nonprofit and other 'official sources.'" Site overseer Mary Jo Deering said, "If a site is there just to sell a product, we're not going to promote it."
- www.mayohealth.org -- The Mayo Clinic's Health Oasis is "edited by a board of physicians and writers."
- www.medicinenet.com -- MedicineNet is written and edited by physicians and scientists who list their credentials.
- www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/ -- The National Library of Medicine offers free access to Medline, which is "a database of 9 million abstracts from 4,000 journals."
- cancernet.nci.nih.gov -- The National Cancer Institute's website contains "links to journal articles, as well as to ongoing clinical trials."
- www.ama-assn.org/consumer.htm -- The American Medical Association's Health Insight is highly interactive. For example, consumers can receive e-mails containing "age-specific pediatric notes."
- navigator.tufts.edu -- Tufts University's Nutrition Navigator vets hundreds of links so consumers don't have to. "[T]wo dieticians evaluate each of the nutrition sites it lists."
- www.hon.ch -- Health On The Net is working on giving consumers guidelines, such as "seals of approval," indicating that websites "abide by set criteria."
- www.mitretek.org/hiti -- The Health Information Technology Institute plans to "issue guidelines designed for website developers, consumers, health care providers and policymakers" (Rogers, 8/24 issue).