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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jeffrey S. Rose, MD (Private Practice)
Description: This is the second edition of a concise, insightful compilation of pieces written on the role of the Internet in healthcare, now and in the future. Originally published in 1997, it remains current and relevant.
Purpose: The objective is to help healthcare organizations and providers understand the growing role of the Internet in improving healthcare quality and service. It exceeds its objectives and serves as an insightful and comprehensive introductory work, covering aspects of Internet medicine from a variety of perspectives.
Audience: It is written for healthcare executives and providers, and I think it is equally useful to business investors and venture partners seeking enlightenment in the area of Internet applications in healthcare. All chapters are well done and appealing.
Features: The book is highly readable, compact, well edited, and suitably general. Topics from the history of the Internet, its evolution and potential, to clinical ramifications of new information for patients and health professionals are covered. The language of the information age is introduced in an appealing fashion, barriers to distributed medical information (security, legislative) are broached, and the potential of this new medium for clinicians and patients is probed. The concise approach, by contributors with obvious insight into their subject matter, provides a wonderful, well-rounded knowledge foundation for the reader without being overly complex or hyper-technical. The glossary is particularly useful.
Assessment: This updated edition is of uniformly high quality and is refreshingly current. It is the most concise, balanced introduction to the subject matter I have seen. It is accessible, easy to read, and illuminating; the sections by physicians are particularly relevant. I think it is an essential introductory book for anyone interested in the future of healthcare, including the most important players — the patients.