Web, Weed and Fashion Toys
June 10, 1996
Let's face it, the internet has become
relentlessly commercial - some say
populated by paper-millionaire
twenty-something's intent on building
their on-line empires. The latest
offerings? A health-oriented, but still
decidedly infantile, Achoo, index of
health and medicine sites on the
internet. With a plethora of
comprehensive and well-organized
indexes already on the web, what does
Achoo have to offer which its
namesake big brother, Yahoo, doesn't
already have? Not much. On the surface of
things, its purported 5,800 links
slightly outweigh our estimates for
Yahoo's health index give or take a
hundred. Where Achoo falls short is
its cryptic organization of sites.
Looking for an on-line health e-zine?
The main directory only gives you three
choices; human life, practice of
medicine and business of health. Other
serious lackings on this all-medicine
site? Ratings and rankings, feature
lists (such as chat or bulletin boards),
most popular sites, etc. The take home
lesson here is that quantity over quality
doesn't work on the web.
Achoo. Bless you.
Looking great isn't easy.
But not to worry, the 'net is intent
on helping even the fashion-
impaired make a statement this
spring. Wondering how to
accessorize hospital whites with
Welch-Allen stainless steel? Look
no further than
Gargoyles medical safety
eyewear. The very same specks
that don the cast of television's
E.R., these babies pack a "patented
210' wrapback toric one-piece
lens frame" and stop a speeding
.22 caliber bullet in its tracks.
A perfect blend of form and function?
Long-touted and much-maligned,
cannabis has been recognized for
some time as an anti-emetic and
treatment for glaucoma. Many
physicians have been pushing for its
legal use for years. If you are lucky
enough to be one of the eight patients
legally prescribed marijuana in the
United States, the obvious question
becomes; where do you fill your
prescription? Luckily (or unluckily)
the federal government has its own
pot farm, grown on seven acres in
Oxford, Mississippi, which is shipped
to the Research Triangle Institute in
North Carolina for processing - a
process that can take nearly two
years from harvest to smoke.
"It's horrible," says Corinne Millet,
sixty-three, who suffers from
glaucoma. "I can get the same high
off three good tokes from some pot
in Amsterdam as I can from
smoking a whole government joint."
The folks at the Cannabis Buyers
Clubin San Francisco have their own
solution to the problem. Patients
suffering from AIDS, cancer,
glaucoma and other illnesses, come
to buy and smoke the illegal weed.
Over 5000 people are now members.
"This is about love," said Dennis
Peron, who founded the club after
his friend died of Aids in 1990.
Whirl. Pop. Zing. A computer that
will change the world? It is definitely
not as Orwellian as its famous 1984
advertising campaign made out to
believe. The fruit company turned
computer maker may have suffered a
shakedown recently which hit many of
its users over the head, but its Newton
line of personal digital assistants (PDA)
stand by themselves. At least, that's
what Pocket Doc founder Dr. Tom
Giannulli would like you to believe.
Built on the Apple Newton MessagePad
platform for its size (hand-held) and
affordability (under $700), the Pocket
Doc system is specifically designed to
collect patient data in a highly structured
format, supposedly reducing paperwork and time.
"Now with the 'tap of a pen' a provider
can complete a patient record, send
prescriptions to the pharmacy, collect
billing information, and access a
phenomenal amount of medical data. A
built-in drug reference reduces
medication dosing errors, significant
drug interactions, or contraindications.
The billing code process is also
simplified with on-line selection of
ICD-9/CPT codes.," claims the on-line
marketing jargon. We haven't tried
them out, but with two versions,
Pocket Doc and Pocket Doc House
Officer (for medical school students
and residents) and a continually-
evolving library of templates and
user-customizable features, getting
wired for the 90's may never be so easy.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flatery.
Disclaimer:Rant and Rave does not endorse any of the
commercial products reviewed in its column and does not
represent the views of the Stanford University School of Medicine
or Leland Stanford Junior University
Copyright © 1996 MedWorld Project. All Rights Reserved.