that the new technologies create new environments, new kinds of use, and new communities, research methods must be adapted. Provide some fast-track funding to enable researchers to use new technology as developed and to obtain answers quickly.

  • Create a high-level public-private partnership to focus on the multiple issues related to quality and ethics on the Internet, including the consideration of a rating system to brand Web sites that are rated as trustworthy and accurate. However, any quality system must go beyond Web site ratings and deal with content as well. Internet users should be trained to assess the accuracy of health information on the Internet. Important ethical issues are involved in health communication using the new technologies, particularly because of the potential for collecting, storing, and using personal data on Internet users (see Spielberg, 1998; Institute of Medicine, 1999b; Eysenbach, 2000; Eysenbach et al., 2000). Although the issues transcend particular populations, special attention should be paid to the concerns by and for diverse populations. We commend the Internet Healthcare Coalition for its e-Health Ethics Initiative (2000) and encourage wide participation in this effort.



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