Information exchange in an epilepsy forum on the World Wide Web.
The Partners Healthcare Epilepsy Service hosts an epilepsy 'Webforum'. In this paper, we describe our observations regarding who uses it, what kind of information is exchanged, how much misinformation is present and how we can better serve our patients. We examined a sample of 155 posts to the forum and 342 responses to those posts. The individual making the post and the type of questions were categorized. We also determined whether any information was objectively inaccurate. The principal users were care-givers (49%) and patients (34%). Eighty percent of the primary posts were questions. Answers were given largely by patients (38%) and care-givers (34%). The most commonly asked questions were about treatment options (31%) and the natural history of the illness (28%). In 20% of the questions, the user incidentally remarked that a health-care provider had not met their information needs. Six percent of the information was objectively inaccurate. The Web can serve as an effective means for the exchange of information between individuals with a common medical condition. We found that a small amount of misinformation is exchanged and that health-care providers are sometimes perceived as unable or unwilling to supply important health-related information. (+info)
Spilling the beans on java 3D: a tool for the virtual anatomist.
The computing world has just provided the anatomist with another tool: Java 3D, within the Java 2 platform. On December 9, 1998, Sun Microsystems released Java 2. Java 3D classes are now included in the jar (Java Archive) archives of the extensions directory of Java 2. Java 3D is also a part of the Java Media Suite of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). But what is Java? How does Java 3D work? How do you view Java 3D objects? A brief introduction to the concepts of Java and object-oriented programming is provided. Also, there is a short description of the tools of Java 3D and of the Java 3D viewer. Thus, the virtual anatomist has another set of computer tools to use for modeling various aspects of anatomy, such as embryological development. Also, the virtual anatomist will be able to assist the surgeon with virtual surgery using the tools found in Java 3D. Java 3D will be able to fulfill gaps, such as the lack of platform independence, interactivity, and manipulability of 3D images, currently existing in many anatomical computer-aided learning programs. (+info)
Using commercially available off-the-shelf software and hardware to develop an intranet-based hypertext markup language teaching file.
This presentation describes the technical details of implementing a process to create digital teaching files stressing the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software and hardware and standard hypertext markup language (HTML) to keep development costs to a minimum. (+info)
Information systems integration in radiology.
Advances in information systems and technology in conjunction with outside forces requiring improved reporting are driving sweeping changes in the practice of radiology. In most academic radiology departments, there can be at least five separate information systems in daily use, a clinical picture archiving and communication system (PACS), a hospital information system (HIS), a radiology information system (RIS), a voice-recognition dictation system, and an electronic teaching/research file system. A PACS will have incomplete, incorrect, and inconsistent data if manual data entry is used. Correct routing of studies for diagnostic reporting and clinical review requires accurate information about the study type and the referring physician or service, often not easily entered manually. An HIS is a hospital-wide information system used to access patient information, reports from various services, and billing information. The RIS is typically a system specifically designed to place radiology orders, to receive interpretations, and to prepare bills for patients. Voice-recognition systems automatically transcribe the radiologist's dictation, eliminating transcription delays. Another system that is needed in a teaching hospital holds images and data for research and education. Integration of diverse systems must be performed to provide the functionality required by an electronic radiology department and the services it supports. Health Level 7 (HL7) and Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) have enabled sharing of data among systems and can be used as the building blocks for truly integrated systems, but the user community and manufacturers need to specify the types of functionality needed to build clinically useful systems. Although technology development has produced the tools for interoperability for clinical and research/educational use, more work needs to be done to define the types of interaction that needs to be performed to realize the potential of these systems. (+info)
Computer-tailored nutrition education: differences between two interventions.
The impact of two computer-tailored nutrition education interventions was assessed and compared in a randomized trial among 315 subjects with a pre-test-post-test comparison group design. Respondents in both the experimental and the comparison group received feedback tailored to their consumption of fat, fruit and vegetables. Respondents in the experimental group received additional psychosocial feedback tailored to their attitudes, perceived social support and self-efficacy expectations towards reducing their fat consumption and increasing their consumption of fruit and vegetables. A significant reduction in fat consumption and increase in the consumption of fruit and vegetables were found in both the experimental and the comparison group between pre-test and post-test. Respondents in the experimental group more often indicated that the feedback they received was interesting and easy to understand. Respondents in the comparison group more often reported having reduced their fat consumption because of the feedback they received. No significant differences in consumption of fat, fruit and vegetables were found at post-test between the experimental group and the comparison group. These results do not support the hypothesis that additional psychosocial information is an essential component of effective tailored feedback. The results indicate that tailored feedback might be effective in inducing dietary changes. (+info)
Computer-based teaching of pathology at the Zagreb University School of Medicine.
AIM: To review the experience gained in transferring USA computer-based teaching system of medical school pathology to Croatia. METHODS: Computer-based teaching program of pathology developed at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas, USA, was transferred to the University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia. The experimental group of 49 students was enrolled into this computer-based program. Their performance was compared with that of 195 classmates enrolled in the standard course. Objective (performance on the examinations) and subjective data (students' interviews and written evaluations of the course) were analyzed. RESULTS: The computer program was operational 5 months from the inception of the transfer. It was well received by the students, even though many initially complained that it required more effort and a continuous commitment. The major problems concerned scheduling, reflecting various requirements i mposed on students by other departments teaching in parallel with the Pathology course. Objective data gathered so far indicate that the students enrolled in the computer-based program took the first midterm examination at a significantly higher rate than the rest of the class (p<0.001), and passed the examination with significantly better grades (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Computer-based teaching programs can be readily transferred to other countries. Full implementation of the program, however, may require significant changes in the existing curriculum in the medical school to which such a program has been transferred or considerable modifications in the program adopted for transfer. It appears that the students enrolled in the computer-based program perform better than students in the standard pathology course. (+info)
Computer-based approaches to patient education: a review of the literature.
All articles indexed in MEDLINE or CINAHL, related to the use of computer technology in patient education, and published in peer-reviewed journals between 1971 and 1998 were selected for review. Sixty-six articles, including 21 research-based reports, were identified. Forty-five percent of the studies were related to the management of chronic disease. Thirteen studies described an improvement in knowledge scores or clinical outcomes when computer-based patient education was compared with traditional instruction. Additional articles examined patients' computer experience, socioeconomic status, race, and gender and found no significant differences when compared with program outcomes. Sixteen of the 21 research-based studies had effect sizes greater than 0.5, indicating a significant change in the described outcome when the study subjects participated in computer-based patient education. The findings from this review support computer-based education as an effective strategy for transfer of knowledge and skill development for patients. The limited number of research studies (N = 21) points to the need for additional research. Recommendations for new studies include cost-benefit analysis and the impact of these new technologies on health outcomes over time. (+info)
A client server model to facilitate creation of a medical image teaching library.
A simple and convenient system for indexing and archiving medical images used in teaching was developed. The approach was to combine a smart client-side graphical user interface that controlled image size, file format, and keyword structure, and communicated with the hospital information system via hypertext mark-up language, to populate the interface with user selectable pull-down menus. The result is a system that is easily extensible beyond the radiology images for which it was originally designed. Only minor modifications of the client interface are required to adapt the program to accept any file format or image type. (+info)