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The Lancet ID – Feb 2005

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Media Watch (Source)

Technology and public health
Marilynn Larkin

The following reviews highlight projects that are using technology to rapidly detect and counter bioterrorism threats and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON)

GIDEON is a diagnostic and disease-information programme available on CD and a frequently updated internet version. The burgeoning availability of high-speed internet connections, particularly in large institutions, makes it increasingly likely that clinicians will find the online tool useful.

GIDEON consists of four basic modules. The diagnosis module can be used to diagnose specific cases or to simulate a particular clinical problem. The epidemiology module provides information on disease transmission, diagnosis, treatment, and status in specific countries, or worldwide. The therapy module covers drugs and vaccines, including side-effects, testing standards, and brand names. The microbiology module permits identification of a bacterium or yeast, and comparison among two or more species. Graphs and images are included in the online version.

The programme is robust. Data are culled from Medline searches, meeting reports, WHO publications, etc, and are updated weekly. It is also easy to navigate, and allows users to enter personal notes. An online PowerPoint presentation provides a good overview of the programme. Users can also register for a 15-day free trial. Individual subscribers pay US$895 yearly; institutional licenses start at $2995.

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