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Letter To Editor
2006:72:3;231-232
doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.25789

Response by author

Maged N Kamel Boulos
 Health Informatics, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Maged N Kamel Boulos
Health Informatics, University of Plymouth
United Kingdom
How to cite this article:
Kamel Boulos MN. Response by author. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2006;72:231-232
Copyright: (C)2006 Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology

Sir,

I fully agree with the author of the letter titled ′Blog your clinical photos′.[1] The latest generation of collaborative web-based tools - namely, wikis, blogs/photoblogs and podcasts/vodcasts - offer many unique and powerful information-sharing and collaboration features. They also have the added advantage of taking the technical skill out of these features, allowing users to focus on the information and collaborative tasks themselves, minus delivery obstacles.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13]

Wikis, blogs/photoblogs and podcasts/vodcasts carry the potential of complementing, improving and adding new collaborative dimensions to the many existing online dermatology services like Map of Dermatology (http://healthcybermap.org/dermap/),[14] the UK NLH Skin Disorders Specialist Library (http://www.library.nhs.uk/skin),[15] telederm.org (Open Access Teleconsultation in Dermatology - http://www.telederm.org/ and http://teledermatology-society.org/),[16] Virtual Grand Rounds in Dermatology (http://www.vgrd.org/ - see their supplementary blog: http://vgrd.blogspot.com/) and Dr. Bell Eapen′s Virtual Dermatologist (http://www.gulfdoctor.net/vd.htm), to name a few.

However, careful thinking is needed to find the best ways to use these emerging tools to boost our productivity, foster better ′communities of practice′ and support our continuing professional development. Healthcare professionals and students with dermatology interests must be adequately involved in this process. Inspired by the successful Yahoo! 360 model,[17] the resultant ′use scenarios′ should also be designed to provide the ′binding glue′ for the different technologies on offer (wikis, blogs/photoblogs and podcasts/vodcasts) and existing online dermatology services, integrating them synergistically into one coherent, wholesome, and unique user experience.

References
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Maag M. Podcasting and MP3 Players: Emerging Education Technologies. CIN: Comput Informat Nurs 2006;24:9-13.
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Podcasting and Vodcasting: A White Paper. Meng P. Last updated: 2005 http://edmarketing.apple.com/adcinstitute/wp-content/Missouri_Podcasting_White_Paper.pdf Last accessed: 9th February 2006.
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Kamel Boulos MN. Map of dermatology: Web image browser for differential diagnosis in dermatology. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2006;72:72-4.
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Grindlay D, Kamel Boulos MN, Williams HC. Introducing the National Library for Health Skin Conditions Specialist Library. BMC Dermatology 2005;5:4. Available at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-5945-5-4.pdf
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Yahoo! 360 http://360.yahoo.com/reg/whatis.html and http://360.yahoo.com/reg/sample.html Last accessed: 9th February 2006.
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