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SARS and population health technology [Editorial]

EYSENBACH, Gunther
2003

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The recent global outbreak of SARS provides an opportunity to study the use and impact of public health informatics and population health technology to detect and fight a global epidemic. This includes the Internet, but also other technologies such as wireless devices, mobile phones, smart appliances, or smart homes. Some of the technologies brought forward during the SARS epidemic may have been primarily motivated by marketing efforts, or were more directed towards reassuring people that "something is being done," ie, fighting an "epidemic of fear." To understand "fear epidemiology" is important because early warning systems monitoring data from a large number of people may not be able to discriminate between a biological epidemic and an epidemic of fear. The need for critical evaluation of all of these technologies is stressed

Towards equity in global health knowledge

PAKENHAM-WALSH, Neil
PRIESTLY, Carol
July 2002

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Emphasizes the interdependence of global health knowledge and draw attention to inequities in the global flow of information that profoundly affect the evolution of the global knowledge base and its relevance to health priorities. Information and communication technologies have great potential to reduce these inequities, not only by disseminating information, but also by supporting such important activities as international co-operation and Southern-led development. Describes briefly some of the challenges, recent achievements, and priorities for the future

Local capacities to create and adapt information for healthcare workers in developing countries

PAKENHAM-WALSH, Neil
July 2002

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This study is a brief but sobering analysis of the impact of ICTs and health information in the developing country environment. The author notes that despite its massive potential, the current global information explosion has had little impact on access to practical information for frontline healthcare workers in developing countries, especially those working in primary care and district hospital settings. The author notes that healthcare workers in developing countries continue to lack access to the basic information they need to learn, to diagnose, and to save lives. However, it is shown that this can be improved through access to and use of ICTs

Disseminating health information in developing countries : the role of the internet

TAN-TORRES EDEJER, T
2000

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This article notes that information and communication technologies have not been harnessed systematically to improve the health of populations in developing countries and that the current digital divide is more dramatic than any other inequity in health or income. It also states that the quality of health information available on the web is inconsistent, and the visibility of research from developing countries is limited and concludes that the way forward is to exploit the full interactivity of the internet, which allows rapid feedback and change to continuously mould information into useful knowledge

Global (Sexwise) : blended technologies offer sexuality education

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In some countries, even the most basic information concerning people's sexual well-being is rarely discussed or disseminated. Through Sexwise, the BBC World Service (BBC) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) have been working together in different regions of the world to speak to people in their own languages about sexual health and reproductive rights. This very brief report provides programme results and details of the ICTs used

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