QuickLinks - Health
Issue no. 267 - 21 April 2003
- EU - Europe goes on-line for health information, but prefers more traditional sources
Where do Europeans turn when they want reliable information on health? A Eurobarometer survey published by the European Commission shows that, across the EU, nearly one in four Europeans (23%) use the internet to get health information. The picture varies considerably, though, between countries: in Denmark and the Netherlands around 40% of people use the internet for health information, while in Greece, Spain, Portugal and France usage is at 15% or less. Health professionals, such as doctors and pharmacists, are still by far the most important source of health information for Europeans and the traditional media - television, newpapers, magazines - still outperform the internet. Other key findings of the survey are that medical and health organisations achieve the highest trust rating on health issues (84%), while businesses and political parties receive the lowest (16% and 11% respectively).
Issue no. 261 - 2 March 2003
- DE - Gesundheitsinfos im Internet als Trendthema
Die in der Industrie-Initiative D21 organisierten Unternehmen sind der Ansicht, dass Informationen über Krankheit und Heilung zukünftig die entscheidenden Inhalte für Internetnutzer werden. Eine Umfrage des D21-Mitgliedsunternehmens Emnid ergab, dass schon heute jeder vierte Surfer das Internet als Informationsquelle bei Gesundheitsfragen nutzt -- besonders vor und nach einem Arztbesuch.
- EU - Advertising genetic tests via the Internet
Statement by the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies. The purpose of this statement is to alert civil society and decision-makers on the problems raised by advertising of genetic tests via the Internet. There is a proliferation of Internet-based offers of genetic tests aimed especially at establishing fatherhood as well as tests for predisposition to several diseases - heart diseases, diabetes, etc. Mass marketing of genetic tests raises several serious problems in ethical, social and legal terms, which the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies considers to require urgent attention. The European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies intends to work on these issues in the future. An Opinion on the ethical aspects of genetic testing in the work place is in preparation.
- UK - Research urges hospitals to end mobile ban
Evidence is growing that the ban on mobile phones in hospitals is unnecessary and could even in some cases be detrimental to patients. Reports in The Lancet and the British Medical Journal have urged hospital administrators to end the ban, which was introduced after a Medical Devices Agency report found that four per cent of phones interfered with equipment.
Issue no. 258 - 2 February 2003
Issue no. 254 - 15 December 2002
Issue no. 253 - 8 December 2002
Issue no. 252 - 30 November 2002
Issue no. 251 - 24 November 2002
- EU to set standards for health sites
The European Commission wants to introduce minimum quality standards for Web sites providing advice on health matters. Concerns about the authenticity of healthcare and pharmaceutical sites have been percolating for years, particularly as more and more consumers head online to research maladies and cures. Thousands of professional and amateur sites have appeared to field their questions. A common EU standard would reinforce consumer protection for increasingly popular medical Web sites.
Issue no. 246 - 29 September 2002
- Health websites gaining popularity
Women use the internet to look for health information for themselves and their family significantly more than men, research has found. The study, by independent research company Datamonitor, says that for this reason health sites should make greater efforts to appeal to women by covering their health concerns.
Issue no. 241 - 24 July 2002
Issue no. 230 - 7 April 2002
- New Zealand Chases Fraudulent Medical Web Sites
The New Zealand Ministry of Health is taking action against ten local Web sites it says are breaking laws protecting New Zealanders from misleading or fraudulent medical practices. The ministry's Medsafe unit took part in an international sweep of Web sites promoting health products last month, and found a number of local sites are breaking the law.
Issue no. 227 - 10 March 2002
- Deutschland - Gesundheitsministerin wirbt für elektronischen Gesundheitspass
Bundesgesundheitsministerin Ulla Schmidt hat erneut die Einführung eines elektronischen Gesundheitspasses gefordert. Deutschland könne hier eine internationale Vorreiterrolle übernehmen, erklärte die Ministerin am 5. März 2002 auf dem Kongress ehealth 2002 - Telematik im Gesundheitswesen in Bonn.
- Health fears about mobile phone masts allayed by report
Health concerns about mobile phone masts were allayed with the publication of a scientific study into emission levels conducted by the Radio Communications Agency, a division of the Department of Trade and Industry, which showed that emission levels from mobile phone masts were at least several hundred times below agreed international levels. The study measured electromagnetic emissions from 100 mobile phone stations located at or near schools.
Issue no. 226 - 3 March 2002
- Virgin Mobile launches 'safe text guide'
Virgin Mobile is launching a safety guide to help text messagers avoid hand and finger injuries. Its 'How to Practice Safe Text' campaign has been developed with the help of medical experts. Tips include doing regular 'textercises', such as shoulder shrugs, finger spreads and neck muscle stretches.
Issue no. 225 - 24 February 2002
- USA - Cell Phone 'Radiation Shield' Products Are Bogus - FTC
The Federal Trade Commission filed suit against two companies that sold devices designed to protect users from harmful radiation emitted by their cell phones, saying the companies had no scientific basis to back up their claims.
Issue no. 223 - 10 February 2002
- UK - Health warnings on computer games?
Computer games with vibrating hand-held control devices should carry health warnings because they can cause damage to hands, British doctors said.
Issue no. 222 - 2 February 2002
- Search for health scams
Australia will join an international crackdown on internet sites that promise miracle cures for diseases.
- UK - Government to investigate mobile phone safety
The government is preparing to investigate whether mobile phones are as safe as the industry has been claiming. A total of 15 research programmes, which will involve human volunteers, were announced. The total cost is expected to be around £4.5m. The UK government and the mobile industry have each contributed to a £7.4m fund to investigate the safety of mobile phones. More projects are expected to be funded later this year from the remaining £3m.
Issue no. 221 - 26 January 2002
- UK - Government e-health plans set back as leading venture falters
(NMA To Go)
Government plans to deliver healthcare services through digital TV have been dealt a blow by news that one of the companies involved in a pilot scheme could be on the verge of closing. Channel Health, the Web and digital TV company which broadcasts on Sky Digital, is desperately seeking further funding of £1.5m to secure its future. Without funds, it faces closure within weeks.
Issue no. 220 - 19 January 2002
- USA - Online Cipro Crackdown Won't Be The Last - Washington AG
Washington and Florida have filed separate suits against the operators of Aprescribe.com, a Florida-based online pharmacy that the states allege sold Cipro, Viagra and other prescription drugs over the Internet without proper prescriptions
Issue no. 217 - 16 December 2001
- Health sites stamped with seal of approval
Millions of Americans going to the Internet for health information got a little more guidance with the independent certification of 13 health-related Web sites by the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission, an independent and nonprofit group which certifies managed care organizations and other health care companies.
- USA - Internet Poses New Problems for Tobacco Control
Sales of cigarettes on the Internet are expected to soar in the coming decade and will pose new problems for tobacco controls to curtail underage smoking. In one of the first published studies into Web sites that sell cigarettes, Kurt Ribisl of the North Carolina School of Public Health and his colleagues found 88 Internet cigarette sellers in 23 states in the United States.
- USA - Proposed Law Would Ban Online Tobacco Sales To Minors
Online cigarette sellers would be forced to obtain hard proof that none of their customers were younger than 18 under legislation introduced in the House of Representatives.
Issue no. 216 - 8 December 2001
Issue no. 211 - 20 October 2001
Issue no. 210 - 14 October 2001
- German Health Ministry Stumps For Online Medicine Sales
Germany's Healthy Ministry says it supports legislation that would make it possible to buy medicines over the Internet in Germany and have medicine delivered by postal services. Currently, it is not allowed to deliver prescription medicine by postal services in Germany. But there will likely be strong opposition to online medicine sales from the powerful and highly regulated pharmacy sector in Germany.
Issue no. 209 - 1 October 2001
Issue no. 208 - 24 September 2001
- Doctors claim world first in telesurgery
The first major trans-Atlantic telesurgical operation has been carried out. Doctors in the United States removed a gall bladder from a patient in eastern France by remotely operating a surgical robot arm.
Issue no. 203 - 19 July 2001
- Free Access to Medical Journals To Be Given to Poor Countries
Six giant publishing houses will provide free electronic access to about 1,000 medical journals to medical schools, research laboratories and government health departments in poor countries.
- Health sites often too tough to comprehend
About half of American adults seeking information about their children’s health cannot grasp the information available on the Internet, said Donna D’Alessandro of the Children’s Hospital of Iowa University, author of the study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. The findings come on the heels of a survey that found online medical information about adult as well as pediatric diseases is hard for many users to understand.
- Germany - Bundeszentrale eröffnet Drogenberatung im Internet
Die Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (BZgA) will im Internet eine Drogenberatung für Jugendliche eröffnen
Issue no. 202 - 5 July 2001
- Gütesiegel für strahlungsarme Mobiltelefone geplant
Bundesumweltminister Jürgen Trittin will mögliche Gesundheitsrisiken durch Handys eindämmen. Geplant sind neue Grenzwerte nach dem Vorbild der Schweiz und eine Plakette für Mobiltelefone mit besonders geringen Emissionen.
Issue no. 200 - 14 June 2001
- European aspects of eHealth
Erkki LIIKANEN Member of the European Commission responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, Workshop on Quality Criteria for Health Related Websites Brussels, 7 June 2001
Issue no. 198 - 28 May 2001
Issue no. 197 - 21 May 2001
Issue no. 189 - 5 March 2001
- Public Consultation phase of MedPICS
We are seeking feedback from medical webmasters on our MedPICS draft metadata vocabulary and rating criteria. This vocabulary allows webmasters to describe their own (privacy, ethics, advertising, content, quality, ...) policies using a standardized vocabulary (i.e. using XML). The vocabulary will also be used to achieve interoperability of third-party rating / evaluation services. see also Group Releases Standards for Health Web Sites (Reuters)
Independent health-care standards group URAC released preliminary quality standards for health-related Web sites on topics ranging from privacy and security to content.
Issue no. 188 - 24 February 2001
- Beijing closes online clinics in Web clampdown
China is closing online clinics as it moves to tighten controls over medical information and products on the Internet. New rules barred unauthorized medical units from providing diagnoses and treatment over the Internet.
Issue no. 187 - 17 February 2001
- Ärzte-Homepages verschrecken Patienten
Nach den Vorgaben der Berufsordnung dürfen Ärzte nicht für ihre Dienste werben, gegen eine werbefreie Präsentation ihrer Praxis im Internet ist hingegen nichts einzuwenden. Die meisten Ärzte-Homepages schrecken jedoch die Patienten eher ab, als dass sie neue Kunden anlocken.
Issue no. 186 - 3 February 2001
- UK - Health fears over mobile masts
Kent County Council has decided it will refuse to allow mobile network operators to erect masts on its land, and accuses the mobile companies of refusing to address the fears of the general public.
Issue no. 185 - 27 January 2001
Issue no. 184 - 20 January 2001
- German Study Links Cell Phones And Eye
A German study said there was a link between cancer of the inner eye and the use of cell phones, but critics said the finding was based on flawed research techniques.
- Web of Science: Bridging the Digital Divide
(World Health Organisation)
Major awards for electronic communication in science have been approved for four centres in Africa and five centres in central Asia and eastern Europe. This is the first phase of a public/private initiative - the Health Internetwork project - which aims to boost access by researchers and health workers to reliable information via the Internet and to improve global public health by facilitating the flow of information worldwide.
Issue no. 183 - 14 January 2001
- Net pharmacy crackdown targets doctors
The New Jersey Attorney General's office accused two online pharmacies of illegally selling prescription drugs on the Internet and, for the first time, named a network of doctors and pharmacists from across the country who authorized the transactions.
Issue no. 182 - 20 December 2000
- New studies: No link between cell phones, brain cancer
Handheld cell phones, even when used regularly for five years or more, don't appear to increase the risk of developing brain cancer, according to two new studies.
- TRUSTe to audit health sites
Hi-Ethics, a coalition of health sites has signed TRUSTe to audit its members in hopes of gaining consumer confidence. TRUSTe will help design and administrator a new seal, the E-Health Seal, that member companies can display on their sites. For TRUSTe, the move signifies an expansion beyond the seal program for privacy that the organization has administered to date.
Issue no. 181 - 10 December 2000
- More research ordered into mobile phone safety
The UK's Department of Health has ordered new research into potential harmful effects from using mobile phones as it publishes leaflets admitting no one knows what the risks are.
- WHO Boosts Health Information Via Internet
(Panafrican News Agency)
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Open Society Institute (OSI), a part of the Soros Foundation network, have teamed with leading information providers ISI and SilverPlatter, to provide access to high quality scientific information, via the Internet, to research centres in countries in Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
Issue no. 180 - 3 December 2000
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
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