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NCCN Conference Offers a Peek Into Internet Medicine's Future
Date:3/6/2008

HOLLYWOOD, Fla., March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- Soon the Internet may hold your medical record where you and your doctor can access it at all hours. Even if you are undergoing a complicated chemotherapy regimen, your computer may prompt you to follow doctor's orders and, via a daily questionnaire, alert your doctor to any new problems, predicted roundtable participants at the National Comprehensive Cancer Network's 13th Annual Conference, March 5-9.

Former AOL chief Steve Case said he launched RevolutionHealth.com just more than a year ago in part because his late brother, who died of a brain tumor, "didn't really know where to turn" for cancer information. Internet and health-care experts "hadn't yet really nailed it" in terms of putting "the consumer at the center" when presenting treatment and prevention data.

RevolutionHealth.com and Microsoft's HealthVault are industry newcomers to creating personal medical records on the web. WebMD has offered privacy-protected records for almost a decade, with millions of consumers using them. An easy-to-access Internet health record would help cancer patients because they typically consult multiple specialists at more than one institution, sometimes in more than one town.

Would consumers fear cyber-storing of sensitive files? Case said no, recalling predictions that "consumers would never enter credit-card information online" -- conventional wisdom now proved wrong.

More than 100 million consumers annually research health information on the web, and these increasingly "cynical and skeptical" consumers are hungry for guidance and sources they can trust, Nan Forte of WebMD said.

Case called for health sites to "not just preach to consumers what they're supposed to do but give them tools to take action."

Doctors on the panel such as Microsoft's James Mault, M.D., complained about the plethora of health sites on the web, citing the patient "coming in with stacks o
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SOURCE National Comprehensive Cancer Network
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