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Editorial: telemedicine and other thoughts

Adverse thoughts

A theme of this month's Bandolier is adverse effects of drugs. There is a focus on NSAID adverse effects , asked for by several readers, and we continue that theme with a report on adverse drug reactions in the United States which shows that it could be the fourth to the sixth leading cause of death.

This is not intended to be negative. Medicines, indeed, interventions of all kinds, have brought and continue to bring enormous benefits. But occasionally they also cause harm. Because serious harm occurs infrequently it is difficult to measure, and because it is difficult to measure, perhaps it gets less attention than it merits. So no apologies for concentrating on it for one issue.

Bandolier Conference

The arrangements for this conference on "Telemedicine: role in primary care" at the Eynsham Hall Conference Centre on July 10/11 are now in place (for programme click here ). We have assembled a great panel of speakers with a wide range of experience of the actual and planned potential of telemedicine and telecare.

On Friday afternoon there will be sessions on 'the vision and the technology' and 'home monitoring'. After dinner we hope to demonstrate different communication modes and the latest developments from the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine's bedside diagnosis decision support system. On Saturday morning the sessions will be on 'telemedicine in community care' and 'the evidence and the economics'.

We believe this is going to be a lively meeting discussing some exciting possibilities for a very different health service in the future. Those of you who have been to previous meetings will know that Eynsham Hall is a very pleasant customised conference centre with swimming pool, squash court, gym, croquet and tennis courts and a bar.

The subsidised fee for NHS and University staff will be £140 for resident delegates and £90 without accommodation. For delegates from industry the fees are £300 and £200 respectively. For more details and/or an application form please contact Eileen Neail by fax on 01865 226978, or by email to

What do you want in Bandolier?

Keep telling us what you want to see in Bandolier . You stimulate us into seeking evidence in dusty corners into which we would otherwise rarely peer. So more thoughts from readers, both from the paper edition (now going as far afield as Fiji and Papua New Guinea - welcome), and from the electronic edition, which has 6000 visits to Bandolier pages a day.

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