ONLINE MEDICINE: Emedicine.com Posts Textbook Remedies
Creating what "experts are calling one of the best online medical resources available," Emedicine.com this week posted the medical textbook Emergency Medicine on the Internet. USA Today reports that the 8,000-page textbook, which is already used by 2.5 million doctors in hospitals across the country, can now be accessed by the public. While most of the "9 million different sources of health information" on the Internet "stop short of suggesting treatment for both medical and legal reasons," the textbook goes "into detail that other sites avoid," displaying "specific drug dosages, required tests and often pictures of what the problem looks like." Richard Sharp, co-author of Webdoctor: Finding the Best Health Care Online, said, "This is terrific, wonderful. It's loaded with information and it's informative. There is quality to this information and no nonsense to it." The fact that the site is funded in part by drug company ads, however, has drawn some criticism from consumer advocates. Public Citizen's Sidney Wolfe said, "This is just a textbook case of creative advertising." USA Today reports that American College of Emergency Physicians President John Moorhead "expressed only cautious optimism" about the new site. "You hope the credibility is there. But I don't know yet," he said. The ACEP, which would like to see the nation's emergency rooms connected to the Internet "to make use of such tools," plans to "look closely at the site" (Davis, 11/6).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.