Gastrointestinal Motility Online Educational Endeavor

Gastrointestinal Motility Online Educational Endeavor

Shiu-chung Au, Amar Gupta
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-843-8.ch014
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Medical information has been traditionally maintained in books, journals, and specialty periodicals. Now, a growing number of people, including patients and caregivers, turn to a variety of sources on the Internet, most of which are run by commercial entities, to retrieve healthcare-related information. The next area of growth will be sites that focus on specific fields of medicine, featuring high quality data culled from scholarly publications, operated by eminent domain specialists. One such site is being developed for the field of Gastrointestinal Motility; it further augments the innovations of existing healthcare information sites with the intention of serving the diverse needs of lay people, medical students, and experts in the field. The site, called Gastrointestinal Motility Online, leverages the strengths of online textbooks, which have a high degree of organization, in conjunction with the strengths of online journal collections, which are more comprehensive and focused, to produce a knowledge base that can be easily updated, but still provides authoritative and high quality information to users. In addition to implementing existing Web technologies such as Wiki- and Amazon-style commenting options, Gastrointestinal Motility Online uses automatic methods to assemble information from various heterogeneous data sources to create a coherent, cogent, and current knowledge base serving a diverse base of users.
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For the last several decades, Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, published by McGraw Hill, has served as a major source of information in the field of Gastrointestinal Motility. This book and its online presentation have been, and continue to be, used by many medical colleges to train the next generation of medical doctors; practitioners in this field also frequently refer to them.

Traditionally, papers and articles in specialty medical journals supplemented the material in textbooks like Harrison. The latter book would itself be updated periodically to reflect the state of the art in medicine and the various specialties, providing a consensus opinion of the standard of care.

The advent of computers and Internet has given rise to online sources of information such as UpToDate ( serve as information directories that can be searched, hoping to place most suitable information on a medical topic in a user’s hand. Students have gradually come to expect information in quick and readily available forms without having to bother about inter-library loans or even hardcopy versions at all.

The goal of the endeavor described in this article was to adapt emerging technologies to improve methods of teaching gastrointestinal material to students and to serve as a more effective source of relevant and accurate information for medical practitioners and specialists.

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