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May 9, 2000

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Doctors and Patients, Digestive Diseases Baffling You? Turn to New Interactive Digestive Disease Website

Patients and physicians with questions about digestive diseases now can turn to a newly launched website for answers. The Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology announces the launch of their in-depth Gastroenterology and Hepatology Portal, http://www.hopkins-gi.org.

"A lot of sites just give brochure-like information, but this one is encyclopedic," says Anthony Kalloo, M.D., Director of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy at Hopkins. "We have a highly graphic site that describes diseases of the intestine, liver, and stomach in ways that are easy to understand, accompanied by illustrations and actual x-ray and endoscopic pictures of disease processes."

The comprehensive site provides information about causes, preventions, diagnosis, treatment, and complications of liver and gastrointestinal tract disorders. These include hepatitis B, Crohn's disease, swallowing disorders and colon cancer. More than 1000 images and x-rays provide a realistic look into the inner workings and failures of the digestive system.

The site will also provide doctors with online education courses, conferences and case presentations with interactive components for continuing medical education (CME) credits. Physicians will be able to download CME activities to palm pilots and thus complete them at a convenient time.

An online forum will allow doctors to provide expert opinions and answers to questions about various diseases and disorders from patients, families, and friends. Chat rooms will allow both doctors and patients to communicate.

Funding sources for the site, two years in the making, include unrestricted grants from pharmaceutical companies but the site does not contain advertising.

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