Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

A virtual network for healthcare

The Internet is one of the most popular means of information retrieval and exchange. Under the umbrella of the TELEMATICS 2C programme, an innovative system has been developed that offers advanced services for the on-line HIV and AIDS information exchange. The so-called SEAHORSE allows both the collaborative knowledge production and content management and hence, addresses the needs of both users and communities.
A virtual network for healthcare
The new system is primarily a comprehensive database of information and support material for people affected by or working with HIV and AIDS. The information is available in the form of articles, links to web sites, frequently asked questions and discussion group forums. It also includes a number of useful tools, such as navigation utilities, content evaluation and revision tools, as well as, organisational support for both information providers and users.

Unlike other healthcare websites, the SEAHORSE addresses not only individual users, but communities as well. Thereby, user communities correspond to sites that provide relevant information tailored to the specific needs and expectations of the particular community. The design of communities is highly related to its specificity according to the respective ethnicity and language or other characteristics, such as "view points" of patients, clinicians, family and friends. The registered users can contribute directly to the site for reviewing and commenting on existing websites and articles, as well as suggesting and adding new websites or articles themselves.

Being both a collaborative knowledge production and a content management system for healthcare, it exploits the proprietary Information Repository Management (IRM) software package consisting of an Internet front-end, a set of data mining tools and an evolving knowledge database for inexpensive and updated material. In addition, the sophisticated navigation browser is a user-friendly mapper that allows the constant evaluation of the growing body of the primary material using 'electronic seals of approval'.

SEAHORSE is more than a multilingual database. It is essentially a virtual network providing the means of exchanging information and experience with a wider community. The URL is:

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