All along the "MedWatch" tower

John Taylor: March 06, 20070 Comments

There's lots of good reasons for creating  Two-thirds of Internet users get their health information on line, according to a recent study. The top five sources are physician websites (61%) -- and there aren't too many of those fully functional -- medical Web engines (44%), search engines (33%), family/friends (31%) and hospital/university Web sites (13%).

What does that mean in numbers? In September 2004, 51.9 million people researched health topics on line; in September 2006, it was 69.9 million. That's from a study done by Illuminas for Cisco Systems, reported by  Of course, you can hassle over hits vs. unique users vs. a bunch of truly compulsive people endlessly searching.

The tie-in between information and health is one of the drivers behind this blog. That means I should close (or continue) a few threads from previous blogs.

A couple of weeks ago, the best guessers in Sacramento projected 3,000 bills would be introduced this session. Looks like the number will be closer to 2,800.

And I recently wrote ("The brass knuckles are real") about Bob Sillen, a hard-as-nails former hospital CEO who was named by a federal judge to overhaul health care conditions in California prisons.  Sillen crossed swords with Dr. Peter Farber-Szekrenyi, chief of the California prison health services. On March 5, Farber-Szekrenyi quit at the governor's request.

Way off the subject: By 2008, the cost of pizza may jump, says the Wall Street Journal. Seems that Washington's drive to make corn-based ethanol part of the nation's fuel mix is expected to stir up prices for tomato sauce, cheddar cheese and pepperoni. All three are corn-dependent. Now THAT will hurt.