From September 19th to 21st 1999, the fourth World Congress on the Internet in Medicine will be held in Heidelberg. For the first time, this conference is taking place in Germany. The event is organized by the staff from the Department for Clinical Social Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital in collaboration with the Institute for Medical Informatics. Over 350 participants from more than 52 countries will attend the MEDNET'99 event at the German Cancer Research Institute (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. The major sponsors are the Doccheck company, Medscape, Janssen-Cilag, Smith-Kline Beecham and Glaxo-Wellcome.
Before the start of the actual scientific congress that will be held in English, the organizing committee has planned a whole range of German presentations and workshops for general practitioners and hospital doctors on Saturday, September 18th. In the morning, a German satellite symposium will address the topic of current developments in medical communication and "cybermedicine". The participants consist of representatives from university libraries, the pharmaceutical industry, and various medical insurance organizations.
In the afternoon, physicians and patients will state their points in a forum discussion on the theme "Patients and the Internet". Issues like the presentation of background information will be tackled and attendants will testify on the exchange of their experiences with representatives from consultancy agencies, doctors, patient initiatives, and the pharmaceutical industry. "Cancer information on the Internet" has been selected as the central topic of discussion.
Organizations, such as the Information Net for Cancer Patients (INKA), the Cancer Information Service (KID) at DKFZ, as well as Glaxo Wellcome will be involved in the forum discussion, among others. Also on Saturday, several Internet Tutorials for physicians and patients will take place with practical training sessions on the computer. Three renowned keynote speakers have been invited to introduce the daily programmes of the English part of the congress.
Dr. Ted Shortliffe, Professor for Medical Informatics at Stanford University, will address the implications of Internet research for the future of health care. Dr. Ron LaPorte, who is Professor for Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Public Health, has been inspired by Stanley Kubrick for his talk on "2001: a global health odyssey". Dr. Alejandro Jadad, Professor for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the McMaster University in Canada will treat in detail the subject of "Consumers and the Internet". More congress information is to be found at the MEDNET'99 home page.