Medutainment: Golf Meets CME — ONLINE

Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center's Center for CME has taken the plunge into the “medutainment” field with an online medical education game called The Cardio Country Club (www.cyberrounds.com). It features game-style interactive learning on cardiovascular medicine and was created with an educational grant from Pfizer Inc. Medical professionals earn AMA Category I CME credits by answering questions about cardiovascular disease and responding to patients' clinical crises in an interactive golf game format.

The content was created by Richard W. Smalling, MD, PhD, Jay Brent Sterling professor of cardiovascular medicine, University of Texas Medical School at Houston. “I'm so busy, and so is every doc I know, that my golf handicap is now 25,” Smalling said. “Cardio-golf may be the best chance we have to close in on par.”

E-CME SOFTWARE: FOR DOCS, BY DOCS

Johns Hopkins Gastroenterology and Hepatology Resource Center at www.hopkins-gi.org is a Web site that was started in March to offer information to physicians and patients about digestive diseases. The site has some cool features — including translations of medical texts into Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese in recognition of its potential international audience — but of particular interest to e-CME providers is the software program that runs the CME portion of the site. It's called CME Anytime (not to be confused with CME Anytime, Anywhere, an online CME program offered by American Medical Seminars), and it was developed by Anthony N. Kalloo, MD, associate professor of gastroenterology at Hopkins and director of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Resource Center.

According to Kalloo, the software has been designed to be a “hassle-free and time-saving method” for obtaining CME course material and credit on the Web or downloaded into a PDA (personal digital assistant). Hopkins is looking to license this technology to other e-CME providers, and, in fact, to anyone offering professional online education.

To learn more, contact Deborah Day Barbara, senior director, business development, division of licensing and business development at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She can be reached at (410) 347-3222 or via e-mail at dbarbara@jhmi.edu.

NEW HUB FOR NEUROLOGISTS

Salu Inc., based in Granite Bay, Calif., has a business model of potential interest to e-CME providers. It operates Web sites that focus on specific medical specialties. For example, at www.neurohub.com there are a host of online services for neurologists, including the ability to set up a personalized Web site with practice management tools, a prescription-writing tool, and access to online CME provided by Nashville, Tenn.-based Healthstream. Via a link, neurologists can even look for opportunities to participate in online studies and collect honoraria. Salu makes money by working with pharmaceutical companies to identify neurologists that the companies want to reach, then enrolling these physicians in the Neurohub Web site. Pharma firms can then market directly to member neurologists in whatever way they find most effective.

Visit www.salu.com for an introduction to the concept.

Dave's Picks

www.chall.com: Challenger Corp., based in Memphis, Tenn., is a long-time specialist in clinical software and claims to be the largest provider of competency testing for board preparation for emergency medicine and family physicians. Now it offers its material over the Web for CME credit. The company recently started using a slick new enterprise learning solution called Evolution, developed by Boston-based software and training company OutStart. The demo, at www.chall.com, is not particularly sophisticated, but Challenger says OutStart's Evolution makes it easier to create multimedia presentations in multiple formats — so a single course can be created and then offered on the Web, on a CD-ROM, or by other means.

www.mioti.com: Mioti stands for “Medical Information On The Internet” and is a service of Physicians Online Inc., a unit of Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Mediconsultto Inc. It has comprehensive links to medical associations and a conference calendar searchable by date or subject. It has a clean, bare-bones design — and the site indicates a redesign is coming soon, which is usually a good indicator that a site is staying on top of its graphics.