(8:00 AM, Thursday, Solis-Cohen Auditorium)
Andrew M. W. Penn, MA, MB, BCh, FRCP(C)
Director Synapse Publishing Project
Division of Neurology
University of Alberta
Victoria, BC, Canada
"The Synapse Project: Just in Time Knowledge"
Health Care is one of the final frontiers for Information
Technology and one which stands to benefit most significantly.
Medical school education at present delivers a large inventory of
knowledge to students, which loses value as it slips out of date,
and consumes resources in its storage. Measures to update that
inventory too are haphazard and incomplete. This situation is
compounded by a new accountability that demands evidence for more of what is said and done in Health Care.
The popularization of
evidence-based-medicine will not be tenable using paper as a
medium. Technology is delivering tools which can provide access to
information rapidly and easily. The Synapse Project, funded by
CANARIE and the Alberta Research Council, is the publishing of
Internet accessible hypertext as a medium for Clinical Practice
Guidelines (CPGs), Care Maps, CME, Clinical Trial registries,
databases and trial forms; literature which is current and credible
and subject to constant modification. A prototype system was
originally developed using World Wide Web shareware however the
Synapse Project involves development of a more robust system,
Janus, which will handle the high demands of medical information
retrieval and true on-line publishing.