Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Helping women with menopause

Menopause, where both physical and emotional changes occur is an extremely confusing and stressful experience for women. In an effort to make this transition period easier for women and provide them and their doctors with a vast amount of helpful information and services, an Italian company designed a multilingual web reference site that provides audience-targeted information, excellent supportive services, and enhanced communication between women and doctors.
Helping women with menopause
Menopause usually takes place when women are 40 to 55 years old and ovulation no longer occurs. As a result, menstruation tapers off while the creation of two hormones in women, estrogen and progesterone, is significantly reduced. These hormonal fluctuations lead to various symptoms that are often difficult for women to deal with. Many women find symptoms such as hot flashes and emotional changes uncomfortable and irritating, while more long-term side effects of menopause, such as osteoporosis and diverse gynaecological expectations lead to many questions. Fortunately, a website established and dedicated to women and menopause, tries to alleviate and answer all these concerns while increasing effective communication between women and their doctors.

This multilingual website brings the benefits of telematics services closer to women. Firstly, the information provided targets the audience, whether it is women or health professionals, and adjusts the terminology and issues accordingly. In addition, once the global website is accessed, users can proceed to local websites that are defined in terms of geographical regions or specific interests. This website, created within the WOMAN project, comprises of on-line interactive services that are provided by local clinics, such as on-line consulting and appointment scheduling with doctors.

On-line consulting is in fact, an important part of this innovative telematics technology. This consists of a user-friendly feature where women and professionals in the health care field can submit a form, with the help of a Wizard guide and ask doctors for their input or remote consulting. This form benefits doctors as it contains crucial information. A key aspect of this service is privacy, and an identification code is issued during registration that links the patient to her questions and information. This identification code also allows doctors to recognise the patient in the event that she personally goes for an examination. In order to ensure privacy, women must specifically agree to send data.

These web reference services consist of software modules created by utilising the Internet and Java and are extremely high-tech in terms of menopause services in Europe. Another important aspect of this technology is that it has been used by 50 women and 40 doctors and is now ready for the market.

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