Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Google and Travel Medicine

Emporiatrics or Travel Medicine is a discipline within medicine that prepares a traveler using vaccines, medicines and knowledge to avoid disease when visiting a foreign destination. I will discuss the current mapping of interventions offered to patients planning trips and illustrate with examples how the constraints of patient needs and the risks at a specific destination overlap to arrive at a list of recommendations that are offered a traveler before departure.

Depending on crowd size I can run through personal case examples for those who are planning an exotic trip. I hope to also highlight limitations of the practice of emporiatrics and suggest where Google can potentially offer a useful "expert system" that might be modulated by risk, price points and insurance coverage using disease maps from publicly available surveillance data and patient records, using the Kaiser Epic Data system.

Speaker: D. Scott Smith. Scott grew up in Boulder Colorado and attended medical school at the University of Colorado. He went to public health school at Harvard University where an interest in Tropical Public Health was further developed, leading to a year long adventure on a Fulbright scholarship in Cali, Colombia, seeking improved diagnostic technologies to understand the epidemiology of leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis (River Blindness). He completed residency then a Fellowship at Stanford University in Medicine then Infectious Disease & Geographic Medicine.

Scott practices at Kaiser in Redwood City, California where he heads the HIV/AIDS clinic and oversees the travel medicine services locally but also is developing regionalization of the Travel Medicine Services for Kaiser Northern California. He co-chairs the biennial National Conference on Preparing International Travelers. He teaches at Stanford Medical School in the Microbiology and Immunology Division and directs a course for undergraduates in Human Biology entitled "Parasites & Pestilence: Public Health Challenges". He was recently presented the Bloomfield award in recognition of excellence in the teaching of clinical medicine at Stanford School of Medicine.

Acknowledging Candid's epiphany (after tumultuous world travel) that staying in one's own backyard is a pathway to happiness, in his spare time he gardens and keeps chickens and bees. As one's own content is not a final destination, he recently traveled with family to Uganda and South Africa to speak and visit an AIDS study site and to see family later this year.

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