A Comparative Study Of Certification Systems Based On Ethical Codes Of Medical Information On The Internet

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Asae Ueda
Akiko Eura
Manabu Yamaji
Hiroaki Mitani
Atsushi Ogihara


Ethical code, Certification system, Medical Information, Internet


Access to medical information has increased all over the world with the increase in Internet usage. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure the quality of medical information on the Internet. In this study, nine organizations having ethical codes relating to medical information on the Internet were subjects. Of these, ethical codes were compared on the basis of form and content. The certification systems were compared on the basis of number of certified websites, number of certified countries, cost to certify, process of certification and term of certification. As this result, here were only a few differences in form although each ethical code emphasized different content. It is unclear which certification system was the best, as all had advantages and disadvantages. The promotion of a certification system needs support from governments or other organizations. In conclusion, we propose three steps to ensure quality and control medical information online: (1) update the ethical code at least annually, (2) work with other organizations to enforce ethical codes and certification systems, and (3) raise awareness of these approaches.


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