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Release: Sept. 5, 2000

[NOTE TO EDITORS: This release was adapted from a press release issued by Creighton University]

UI part of consortium launching new medical information web site for health professionals

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa department of pathology is part of a consortium of six universities that today announced the launching of a new Internet service, UPCMD.COM, to provide medical information to health-care professionals. UPCMD.COM is up and running with its first product, "Disease Diagnosis," which provides rapid access to nearly 15,000 pages of original information about diagnostic medical testing and diseases.

The new Internet service is provided by University Pathology Consortium, LLC. This for-profit corporation has contracted with medical professionals throughout the country to provide up-to-date information to subscribers. The site is designed to facilitate better patient care, according to Kenneth L. Sims, M.D., the consortium's chief executive officer and professor and chairman of pathology at Creighton University. The consortium was formed and is directed by departments of pathology and laboratory medicine at Creighton University, Stanford University, the University of California at Davis, the University of California at San Francisco, the University of Iowa and the University of Southern California.

"It's basically one-stop shopping for physicians wanting readily accessible and the most currently accurate information," said Michael Cohen, M.D., UI professor and head of pathology. "And, because this is a Web-based product it can be updated almost instantaneously."

This site is distinctive because it provides an authoritative medical resource designed to assist clinicians as they practice and need to look up information during a patient visit. Rather than simply posting textbook content, the authors are providing original material that will be updated as developments occur.

The information is available on an annual subscription basis. Prices will vary depending upon the subscription desired. Prices are designed to make the information affordable to all medical personnel.

In addition to "Disease Diagnosis," other forthcoming products include "Evaluating Abnormal Test Results" and "Diagnostic Medical Testing in Psychiatric Disorders." This last module will provide testing information on how to detect underlying medical conditions that may cause symptoms that mimic a psychiatric disorder. A comprehensive module, "Transfusion Medicine," will also soon be completed and will be offered initially to large health-care organizations and hospitals only. This module will provide the most recent and comprehensive information about human blood, its therapeutic uses, risks and immediate adverse effects.

Additional services will be directed toward pathologists who specialize in the diagnosis of cancer using tissue sections and individual cell preparations such as the pap smear. The consortium also plans to develop an academic series that will include distinguished lectures, pathology images and continuing medical education opportunities.

The UI department of pathology's participation in the consortium was enabled by the UI Research Foundation, which has become a formal "member" of the UPC. For more information about the consortium contact Ken Sims, M.D. (402) 449-4967, ksims@upcmd.com or Michael Cohen, M.D. (319) 356-4433, michael-cohen@uiowa.edu

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.