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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Journal of Medical Internet Research >
Volume 3 (2001) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4599

Title: Internet Medical Usage in Japan: Current Situation and Issues
Authors: Tatsumi, Haruyuki
Mitani, Hiroaki
Haruki, Yasuo
Ogushi, Youichi
Keywords: Viewpoint
Quality Information
Ethics Codes
Certification System
Issue Date: 17-Mar-2001
Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach; Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Citation: Haruyuki Tatsumi, Hiroaki Mitani, Yasuo Haruki, Youichi Ogushi. Internet Medical Usage in Japan: Current Situation and Issues. J Med Internet Res 2001;3(1):e12 <URL: http://www.jmir.org/2001/1/e12/>
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy and is not necessarily the most recent version. To view the current item, visit http://www.jmir.org/2001/1/e12/ ] Internet use by physicians and patients has become very popular in Japan. Fifty percent of physicians use the Internet to search for medical and other information. Over the past year, 22% of patients used the Internet to obtain medical information. Because there are no restrictions within Japan on using Web sites to advertise medical treatment, information can be freely sent out, and over the past two or three years this practice has increased dramatically. Internet medical information provides information about illnesses and medications, and it helps improve the quality of life of patients and families. Yet, depending on the content of the information provided and the way this information is used, there is a potential negative side as well. On principle, users are responsible for the way information is used, but there is a need for information providers to consider users' safety and to make the information effective for use. Because there is no absolute standard for evaluating the value of medical information, it is necessary to establish a system that opens a dialogue with society and that continuously accumulates high-quality information through the collection of various evaluations, rather than rely on an established authority. For industries and organizations related to commercial pursuits, in particular, it is most effective to establish their own codes for ethical conduct, rather than rely on governmental regulations. At the same time, it is important to have a confirmation function to evaluate how goals set by the outside are being implemented. Aiming at establishing a framework for the Internet medical usage, the Japan Internet Medical Association (JIMA) was founded in 1998 by medical professionals, lawyers, researchers, consumer representatives, patients and their families. We propose a system that would combine feedback from users, who would take on the role of evaluators of the implementation of an ethical code, with a displayed mark that verifies the identity of the Web site. Objective evaluation of information is needed to ensure that users have the power to make choices. Medical experts or patient and family groups would assist in this task. The development of medical care will be promoted through patients and physicians' working together in the accumulation of shared resources for good medical care information.
Description: Reviewer: Yahata, Katsuya
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4599
ISSN: 1438-8871
Other Identifiers: doi:10.2196/jmir.3.1.e12
Rights: Copyright (cc) Retained by author(s) under a Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Appears in Collections:Volume 3 (2001)

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