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March 2005

AASP COMMITS TO KEEPING IT’S MEMBERS INFORMED ABOUT THE IMPACT AND THE ROLE OF THE INTERNET IN HEALTHCARE

The American Academy of Spine Physicians (AASP) recognizes the importance of keeping it members informed about use and trends on the internet. The Internet has become a powerful tool for the public to find physicians and research information about health conditions and therapeutic options. It has been estimated that approximately 70% of U.S. Internet users search for health-related information and as many as 70-80 million people in the U.S. alone use the Internet for this purpose each month.

The AASP has developed a relationship with the Pew Internet & American Life Project to obtain accurate trends reports on the use of the Internet as it relates to healthcare and related services. The Pew Project produces reports that explore the impact of the Internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, healthcare, and civic and political life.

The Pew Project claims to be an authoritative source on the evolution of the Internet through the collection of data and analysis of real-world developments as they affect the virtual world. The information on the Pew reports are compiled form nationwide random digit dial telephone surveys as well as online surveys and from research from government agencies, academia, and other expert venues. The results also come from observations of what people do and how they behave when they are online; in-depth interviews with Internet users and Internet experts alike; and other efforts that try to examine individual and group behavior.

The Pew group has offered the AASP the use of RSS feeds which stands for Really Simple Syndication. The especial feeds into the AASP website from Pew provide for real-time updates of content into a predetermined format whenever anything on a specific Web page is updated. This technology is commonly used on weblogs (blogs), news web sites and other places which require frequently updated content.

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