From computerized medical records to databases of pharmacological interactions and automated provisional EKG readings, the emergence of information technology has significantly altered the practice of medicine. Information technology has been widely used to enhance diagnosis and treatment and to improve communication between providers. The advent of the Internet also brings far-reaching implications for patient–physician communication, challenging physicians, patients, and policymakers to consider its impact on the delivery of medical care and the therapeutic relationship. A new set of practices by patients and physicians is unfolding in cyberspace, ranging from the use of e-mail to communicate between physicians and patients in an existing relationship to one-to-one consultations with an anonymous physician and ongoing online treatment, such as psychotherapy. These practices are emerging in both the for-profit and not-for-profit spheres
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DOI 10.1017/s0963180108080572
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