GayHealth.com Surpasses Expectations In contrast to the precipitous drop in online advertising in general, GayHealth.com has sold out its advertising inventory for the fourth quarter of 2000. The lesbian, gay, and bisexual health destination site passed initial revenue projections by 28 percent and continues to attract more than 250,000 visitors a month. GayHealth.com's medical director and founder, Dr. Stephen Goldstone, attributes the site's success to its niche in the market: "Nobody else is providing the information we do, and the response from our users has been amazing." Indeed, advertisers from Big Pharma have participated-Glaxo Wellcome, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Wyeth-Ayerst all promote products on GayHealth.com.
Coming Soon to a Town Near You... Bayer recently launched its RTIalert program to notify consumers of current and predicted rates of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in their areas. Based on zip code information, RTIalert.com gives visitors weekly updates of the rates of RTIs such as sinusitis, bronchitis, and community-acquired pneumonia, and offers advice about preventing and treating infection. The site includes information about Bayer's quinolone antibiotic Avelox (moxifloxacin).
Occupational Hazards Exposed A new addition to the eHealth portal network is intended to help workers avoid injury and illness on the job. Consumer Health Interactive's new category, "Work and Health," offers detailed information about the hazards posed to workers-such as repetitive stress injuries, sick building syndrome, and age discrimination-in nearly 100 jobs. Profiles of dozens of workers offer practical tools for keeping healthy at work and include tips tailored to each job, from taxi driver to dot-com pro to construction worker. Content is geared to employers and managers, including articles about safety, second-hand smoke, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.Hacker Ignites Patient Privacy Controversy The University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle confirmed that a hacker infiltrated its computer system last summer and downloaded patients' medical records. The records contained names, social security numbers, conditions, and procedures.
The hacker, identified as a 25-year-old Dutchman named "Kane," said that his intention was to publicize the vulnerability of patient information rather than to use it criminally. The incident has spurred a public outcry for improved security standards for medical files accessible on the Internet.
New Home for RA Info As part of its Turn the Tide education campaign, Aventis now offers rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients a nonbranded Web resource, RAwatch.com. Membership is free and offers patients personalized disease management tools such as publications, calendars, diaries, and symptom self-reporting tools. Members can also communicate with one another online and participate in peer discussion groups. Aventis hopes to provide a "one-stop shop" for RA patients, making the search for relevant information easier.
Rx-OTC Interactions First DataBank, a subsidiary of Hearst Corporation, recently released a new version of its drug-drug interaction software, RxWeb. Available in COM and Java versions, RxWeb 2.2 includes information about interactions between FDA-approved medications and alternative therapies such as homeopathic remedies, herbal agents, and nutraceu-ticals. The software's Web browser links users to the comprehensive and widely referenced National Drug Data File (NDDF), which recently added alternative therapies to its database.