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.


[Happy Glasses]

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?


[Cannibus Buyers Club]

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

Club in 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.


[Pocket Doc]

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.