subhdvirtual.GIF (34068 bytes)US DHHS’s TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE Featured

American Medical Informatics Association’s May 27-29 Congress


5/26/98—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Partnerships for Networked Consumer Health Information will present its TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE in conjunction with the spring congress of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). Featuring innovative applications designed to provide point of use knowledge to consumers and patients, the TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, May 27–29, 1998 in the Conference Center Ballroom at the Wyndham Franklin Plaza Hotel, 17th and Race Streets in Philadelphia, PA.

At the TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE, more than two dozen developers will be offering hands-on demonstrations of web sites and other cutting-edge applications that promote the development of high quality interactive health communications, including those that:

  • provide comprehensive health "knowledge-bases" for consumers;
  • help consumers comparison shop for services offered by hospitals and managed care plans;
  • educate children and other special populations;
  • provide individualized online support for care-givers and homebound patients;
  • assist clinicians in shared decision making with patients;
  • support self-care decisions;
  • and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of online health information.

TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE products will be participating in friendly Consumer Health Informatics (CHI) Games designed to foster audience interaction and feedback. The SHOWCASE will conclude with a reception from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m., hosted by Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Dean of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, during which awards will be given to the winners of the CHI Games. Media wishing to attend the reception should check in at the AMIA registration desk upon arrival.

Now in its fourth year, the annual Partnerships conferences are the premier forum for bringing vision and direction to the developments created by the explosion of consumer health web sites and other sophisticated interactive online programs. This year’s Partnerships consists of presentations at two different locations. The first took place April 28th in Washington, DC at the National Press Club and the second is being presented in conjunction with AMIA. The Partnerships ‘98 Technology Showcase is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Annenberg School for Communication, and the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

"Self-advocacy in health care is no longer an elective procedure. Today’s average doctor’s visit is only eight minutes long, and patients are setting the pace as greater numbers use the Internet to find health information," said Dr. Mary Jo Deering,* Director of Health Communication and Telehealth within HHS, and chair of the Partnerships Steering Committee. "In the not too distant future, many doctors will be recommending web sites to patients. This year's Partnerships cartoon brings home this notion of an ‘information prescription,’ — it’s an image of a doctor saying to a patient, ‘Take two web sites and e-mail me in the morning.’"

At the WDC April meeting, the new Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher unveiled new features for the HHS gateway web site for health information, <> (see HHS news release for more information). In addition, many seminal thinkers and leaders in the field of consumer health information shared their perspectives on how the Internet is changing health care. These included Dr. Warner Slack, editor of "M.D. Computing" and author of "Cybermedicine;" Michael Brown author of a recent, groundbreaking study on doctors’ use of, and attitudes about, the Internet (see statistics attached); and Tom Ferguson, of Harvard’s Center For Clinical Computing and author of "Health Online," who shared early results of his recent survey of online self-helpers’ assessment of their physicians.

In a videotaped message for last year’s Partnerships meeting, when the government gateway web site healthfinder™ was first launched, Vice President Gore said, "We hear a lot about how managed care is changing our health care system. What we don't hear is how consumers themselves are changing it. They are increasingly active in managing their own health and medical care. More and more, they are turning to the Internet to get the information they need."

healthfinder™’s core offerings include online and print publications, clearinghouses, referral services, research and clinical information, databases, discussion, and self-help groups. With usage of the site still rising at nearly 10-15 percent a month, healthfinder™ is meeting increased consumer demand for health and medical information by expanding its resources on an ongoing basis. In just under a year healthfinder™ has provided information to 1.7 million users. Touted as one of the easiest and most comprehensive sites for health and medical information, healthfinder™ has also won many awards. healthfinder™ is managed by HHS’s Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in collaboration with many other agencies.


*NOTE: Mary Jo Deering is available for interview on site at AMIA. To reach Mary Jo Deering on site May 27th – 29th call 301-325-1070.  Contact Rosie Dempsey, Media Relations Director, at at 202-832-4633 or e-mail

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