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Web prescriptions – Summit explores technology, health

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The nation’s first e-health summit on Thursday will address ways in which the Internet and other technologies can improve health care for all Americans.

Participants include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Netscape founder Jim Clark and Mary Joe Deering, chief of health care information for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The invitation-only summit will address two major issues related to health care and technology — public policy and commercial opportunities.

The event will involve the schools of medicine, law and engineering at  Stanford University and the schools of business and public health at the University of California at Berkeley.

Berkeley will host a public policy program to tackle the “digital divide” in health information access and explore ways in which technologies can provide important health information to Americans without Internet access.

Stanford will host a program focused on the commercial agenda and emerging technology opportunities.  Topics will include how e-commerce and technology are affecting patient care and the privacy of patient records.

New technologies can make health care safer and more efficient, says Laura Tyson, dean of the Haas School of Business at Berkeley.

New health information systems may decrease medical errors that lead to over 100,000 patient deaths per year and reduce industry inefficiencies that cost Americans billions of dollars per year.

The summit is being sponsored by the California Endowment, The Nasdaq Stock Market and Cisco Systems.

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