About ADES Program


ABSTRACT

This project proposes to build an Advanced Dermatology Education Server (ADES) using World-Wide Web (WWW) as our platform. The ADES will be placed under the infrastructure of the Internet that can be accessed from all over the world. The ADES distinguishes itself with other medical education modalities (such as books, pamphlet, lecture,...etc.) in that it is ubiquitous, interactive, concurrent, up-to-date and freely searchable. It is ubiquitous since it is available as long as an Internet connection is possible. It is interactive in the way that you can have real-time feed-back on your input.

In addition, many people can access the same piece of information in the same time and this information can be frequently updated without formidable cost like reprinting a book, which make the ADES concurrent and up-to-date.

Unlike a book, the ADES can be searched in ways far superior to just keyword index. Its content can be searched in many different ways such as Boolean search where you can combine several criteria to accomplish a search or even natural language search that let you enter your request in spoken English.

The ADES will feature three major segments:

I. Dermatology in Primary Care

II. Dermatologist Lounge

III. Skin Problem Q & A

Each segment is targeted at a different group of audience. Segment I provides an introductory dermatology course and a "Simulated patient" section for self-assessment to medical students and primary-care physicians. Whereas segment II offers dermatologists a virtual place to discuss and share their professional experience, opinions and knowledge by providing a "Dermatologists forum" and a "Dermatology case of the month" section. Segment III is aimed at providing the general public a place to seek and ask for dermatological information. Frequently encountered skin problems and its management would be listed in a "Skin problem FAQ" section, while users can also ask for help from dermatologists that visit this server by utilizing an "Ask-a-dermatologist" section. Details of the content in each segment will be described in the Research Methodology and Procedures section of this proposal.

We believe that an on-line WWW-based education server such as the ADES can be quite beneficial for its target audience in the purpose of medical education. It is not possible until now to set up a single education entity that can satisfy the need of such diverse audience, allow audience-material and audience-audience interaction or have such influence that cross the geographical boundary so easily. A well-implemented dermatology education server can potentially complement current medical curriculum for medical students, provide continuing medical education for primary care physicians and further the communication of dermatologists. In addition, by offering the mass a place to seek and ask for dermatological information, the ADES may also contribute to the well-being of the general public.