Medical Image Resource Center 2002: an update on the RSNA's Medical Image Resource Center.
The Radiological Society of North America has launched a project called the Medical Image Resource Center (MIRC) to establish a community of Web-based libraries of imaging information, including teaching files, other educational materials, and research data. This system would enable radiologic professionals to create and publish such materials more easily and to gain more convenient access to new and existing materials. An overview of the project, a brief summary of the overall requirements and objectives, and a brief description of the progress and ongoing plans for MIRC are presented. (+info)
MEDLINE services to the developing countries.
Supplying MEDLINE services to a widely dispersed user population in the developing countries creates numerous problems not encountered by other MEDLINE centres. The inability to interact with the user complicates system promotion and makes search formulation sometimes a gamble. Nevertheless, an evaluation survey has shown high user satisfaction. Of great concern is the still inadequate solution of document delivery. Near-term objectives are the broadening of geographic coverage and the integration of search processing with supporting hard copy supply. (+info)
Where are they now? A case study of health-related Web site attrition.
BACKGROUND: When considering health-related Web sites, issues of quality generally focus on Web content. Little concern has been given to attrition of Web sites or the "fleeting" nature of health information on the World Wide Web. Since Web sites may be available for an uncertain period of time, a Web page may not be a sound reference. OBJECTIVE: To address the issue of attrition, a defined set of health-related Web sites was examined at two separate time intervals. METHODS: To determine the degree of attrition, Web sites obtained and recorded from a previous study were revisited approximately three years later. From December 1998 to May 1999, 184 Web sites were collected from which health claims were identified. During May and June 2002, the previously recorded URL for each Web site was entered into the address field of the browser Netscape Navigator. It was documented whether the original Web site could not be found, moved to a different URL location, or the URL and site location was found unchanged from the original search. For a Web site whose URL remained unchanged, it was also noted whether the site had maintained currency, (i.e. updated) since the original posting. To ensure that inaccessibility may not be due to temporary server problems, another attempt was made to access the sites at different periods of time. RESULTS: When each URL address from the original set of 184 Web sites was re-entered into the address field of the browser, 108 (59%) of the sites could not be found, 31 (17%) had moved to a new URL address, and 45 (24%) of the sites could be found from the original URLs obtained in the previous study. Of the Web sites that moved to a new URL address, 7 sites provided a link from the original URL to redirect the viewer to the new location. Of the Web sites still in existence, 17 (38%) provided update information from the original posting. CONCLUSIONS. It can be difficult to locate information that was previously found on the Web, and if a reference to an item is provided, there is no guarantee that viewers will be able to find the site at a later time. Enhancements in Web technologies such as the Internet Archive may improve this situation. Future research that is directed toward making sure Web site viewers know the site will be accessible at a later time will enhance the Web as a valuable medical information resource. (+info)
The data warehouse as a foundation for population-based reference intervals.
The volume of data contained in a data warehouse represents a potential resource to provide the basis for detailed and specific reference intervals. Routine chemistry panel testing data were derived from an outreach laboratory patient population of 438,180 people and then screened by multiple data filters to identify a large and demographically diverse reference population. Reference intervals were determined for 4 common analytes: aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, total bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase. Each derived reference population contained more than 60,000 people with sex- and age-specific subgroups comprising between 495 and 4,949 persons. These intervals are particularly representative of the aging patient population and demonstrate a degree of age and sex diversity not reflected commonly in routine laboratory reference intervals. Warehouse data also can yield other interpretative data, such as percentile ranking of results or disease-specific reference intervals. As the warehouse accumulates data from other disciplines (such as from clinical notes or pharmacy), there is increasing potential for the laboratory to enhance the clinician's ability to diagnose and treat disease. (+info)
Bioethics in Germany: debates and infrastructure.
In Germany the public awareness on ethical problems of the application of medicine and life sciences on human beings is very high. It can be observed that German Society is rather sensitive concerning bioethical issues. Politics supports this attitude. Many articles in professional journals as well as in newspapers cover bioethical issues. Conferences and workshops on a professional and an educational level deal with topics on ethics of life sciences and ethics in general. Moreover, in the case of bioethics many different disciplines contribute with relevant considerations to the process of opinion and judgment formation. This paper summarizes the main ethical and legal debates on bioethical issues in Germany, specifies the focus of leading German centres of bioethics and biolaw, and explains the tasks, services and networking of the German Reference Centre for Ethics in the Life Sciences (DRZE) which was founded by the Federal Government. (+info)
Munich information center for protein sequences plant genome resources: a framework for integrative and comparative analyses 1(W).
With several plant genomes sequenced, the power of comparative genome analysis can now be applied. However, genome-scale cross-species analyses are limited by the effort for data integration. To develop an integrated cross-species plant genome resource, we maintain comprehensive databases for model plant genomes, including Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), maize (Zea mays), Medicago truncatula, and rice (Oryza sativa). Integration of data and resources is emphasized, both in house as well as with external partners and databases. Manual curation and state-of-the-art bioinformatic analysis are combined to achieve quality data. Easy access to the data is provided through Web interfaces and visualization tools, bulk downloads, and Web services for application-level access. This allows a consistent view of the model plant genomes for comparative and evolutionary studies, the transfer of knowledge between species, and the integration with functional genomics data. (+info)
Using Ontario's "Telehealth" health telephone helpline as an early-warning system: a study protocol.
BACKGROUND: The science of syndromic surveillance is still very much in its infancy. While a number of syndromic surveillance systems are being evaluated in the US, very few have had success thus far in predicting an infectious disease event. Furthermore, to date, the majority of syndromic surveillance systems have been based primarily in emergency department settings, with varying levels of enhancement from other data sources. While research has been done on the value of telephone helplines on health care use and patient satisfaction, very few projects have looked at using a telephone helpline as a source of data for syndromic surveillance, and none have been attempted in Canada. The notable exception to this statement has been in the UK where research using the national NHS Direct system as a syndromic surveillance tool has been conducted. METHODS/DESIGN: The purpose of our proposed study is to evaluate the effectiveness of Ontario's telephone nursing helpline system as a real-time syndromic surveillance system, and how its implementation, if successful, would have an impact on outbreak event detection in Ontario. Using data collected retrospectively, all "reasons for call" and assigned algorithms will be linked to a syndrome category. Using different analytic methods, normal thresholds for the different syndromes will be ascertained. This will allow for the evaluation of the system's sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value. The next step will include the prospective monitoring of syndromic activity, both temporally and spatially. DISCUSSION: As this is a study protocol, there are currently no results to report. However, this study has been granted ethical approval, and is now being implemented. It is our hope that this syndromic surveillance system will display high sensitivity and specificity in detecting true outbreaks within Ontario, before they are detected by conventional surveillance systems. Future results will be published in peer-reviewed journals so as to contribute to the growing body of evidence on syndromic surveillance, while also providing an non US-centric perspective. (+info)
NIDDK data repository: a central collection of clinical trial data.
BACKGROUND: The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases have established central repositories for the collection of DNA, biological samples, and clinical data to be catalogued at a single site. Here we present an overview of the site which stores the clinical data and links to biospecimens. DESCRIPTION: The NIDDK Data repository is a web-enabled resource cataloguing clinical trial data and supporting information from NIDDK supported studies. The Data Repository allows for the co-location of multiple electronic datasets that were created as part of clinical investigations. The Data Repository does not serve the role of a Data Coordinating Center, but rather as a warehouse for the clinical findings once the trials have been completed. Because both biological and genetic samples are collected from many of the studies, a data management system for the cataloguing and retrieval of samples was developed. CONCLUSION: The Data Repository provides a unique resource for researchers in the clinical areas supported by NIDDK. In addition to providing a warehouse of data, Data Repository staff work with the users to educate them on the datasets as well as assist them in the acquisition of multiple data sets for cross-study analysis. Unlike the majority of biological databases, the Data Repository acts both as a catalogue for data, biosamples, and genetic materials and as a central processing point for the requests for all biospecimens. Due to regulations on the use of clinical data, the ultimate release of that data is governed under NIDDK data release policies. The Data Repository serves as the conduit for such requests. (+info)