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The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Midwest Alliance for Nursing Informatics (MANI) have merged effective September 1, 2004.


HIMSS and MANI decided to unify since the two organizations share compatible goals: promoting education and networking to nurse informaticists and focusing on leadership in technology to improve the overall delivery of healthcare. MANI, founded in October 1991, is a not-for-profit organization that serves as a resource for nursing informatics professionals throughout the Midwestern United States, and brings targeted knowledge and subject matter expertise in the field of nursing informatics to HIMSS.


Organized much like a HIMSS special interest group (SIG), the nursing informatics membership community will have its own volunteer leadership, under the strategic direction of the HIMSS board of directors, further expanding the scope of activities for nurse leaders currently active as HIMSS members. This community within HIMSS will build an environment for nurse informaticists with shared interests, and provide HIMSS with strategic and subject matter guidance on issues relevant to nurse informaticists.


Current MANI members will become HIMSS individual members with no additional dues requirement until the HIMSS membership renewal date of July 1, 2005.


To continue and broaden MANI's focus on programming, HIMSS will develop three national nursing informatics programs, including the Nursing Informatics Symposium at the 2005 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition, during the first year of the unification. A Nursing Informatics Task Force will be formed and include the current MANI board of directors, who will serve terms on the task force equal to their existing terms on the MANI board and plan these and other education sessions. HIMSS will issue a call for additional participants in the Nursing Informatics Task Force from its current membership. Nurse informaticists who are members also can affiliate with the 41 HIMSS chapters to continue local programming and networking opportunities, a strength of MANI today.


In addition, the new nursing informatics membership community will extend its education outreach to students through the Midwest Alliance for Nursing Informatics Scholarship that will be awarded for the first time at the 2005 Annual HIMSS Conference. Scholarship information is available at


While not part of the unification agreement, the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Leadership Award is a new award that HIMSS developed, and announced in August 2004, to honor registered nurses who have contributed to the Society and to the healthcare industry. The first recipient will be recognized at the HIMSS annual conference in February 2005. For nomination information, visit: awards. http://asp?/side.nav.html?chapters|/chapters/chaptermap.html.


For more information on the HIMSS and MANI unification, visit



A report released in September 2004 by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that important disparities in the quality of access to the Internet continue, even though 96% of 8- to 18-year-old students report ever having gone online. The federal government's most recent large study in 2001 found half (51.7%) of all children aged 3-17 with family incomes of $75,000 or more had Internet access at home, while just 15% of those with incomes of $20,000 to $25,000 did.


Likewise, new data released by Kaiser indicate that school-aged children 8 to 18 years old with less-educated parents or who attend school in lower-income communities are significantly less likely than other children to use the Internet in a typical day or to have Internet access from their homes.


Kaiser's Children, the Digital Divide, and Federal Policy issue brief includes new research findings and reviews the latest information on wiring the nation's schools and libraries, including points of access, the speed of connection, and what children are doing online. The report also examines current federal policies and policy ideas that could address the new digital divide.


Among the key findings identified in the report are the following:


* In 2004, 80% of white children aged 8 and over have Internet access at home, compared with 61% of African American children in this age group. Similarly, 8 in 10 (82%) children whose parents have a college education have home Internet access, compared with 68% of those whose parents have a high school education or less.


* Four in 10 (39%) children 6 months to 6 years old from families with incomes of $75,000 a year or more have never gone online, while 69% of children from families with incomes of less than $20,000 a year have never gone online.


* Among children 6 months to 6 years old, only 8% of children from homes with incomes of $75,000 a year or more did not have a computer at home, compared with 40% of children from homes with annual incomes between $20,000 and $29,000, and more than half (55%) of those from families with incomes under $20,000 a year.



The issue brief and survey snapshot are available at This is the tenth in a series of reports and fact sheets on topics related to children, media, and health that pull together the most relevant research on such issues as TV violence, teens online, media ratings, and children and video games. All the previous reports are available at:



The e-Government for Development Information Exchange project, coordinated in Britain by the University of Manchester's Institute for Development Policy and Management, announces new online resources on practical ideas for improving the success rate of public sector health information ("e-health") systems in developing/transitional countries.


It is divided into four main sections:


* "Understanding e-Health" explains the costs and benefits of using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to strengthen public health systems, gives access to 16 online case studies, and explains why e-health projects succeed or fail.


* "Practical Techniques" explains how to improve the success rates of public sector e-health projects.


* "Other Online Resources" links to relevant e-health guidance, papers, and cases online.


* "Training Guide" enables the material to be used to design a training workshop or course.



The project was initially funded and managed by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization as part of the UK Department for International Development's program Building Digital Opportunities. The material can be found at



Although NI2006, the 9th International Congress on Nursing Informatics, in Seoul, Korea, may seem to be a long way off (June 2006), the Scientific Program Committee and the Organizing Committee are soliciting suggestions on how to make NI2006 the best event of its kind yet.


Attendees of NI2003 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, other nursing informatics (NI) events, and those who have never attended an NI conference, but have attended other nursing conferences in recent years, are asked to provide views on


* What works well at NI events? What should be kept?


* What does not work well? How should it be changed?


* Are there new things, such as new types of presentation mode, or "attending," or other new aspects relating to conference events, that should be tried?


* Are there any issues on logistics conference organizers should take into consideration?


* Any other comments of any kind?



Send your suggestions to Peter Murray, CIN Associate Editor for Microcomputers and member of the NI2006 Scientific Program Committee, at


To learn more about the conference, and to download the Call for Submissions, visit


SCOTTeVEST INC Announces Solar-Powered Jacket to Carry, Connect, and Charge Portable Devices

SCOTTeVEST INC (SeV), maker of Technology Enabled Clothing, and Global Solar Energy, developer and manufacturer of flexible solar cells, have announced that the first solar-powered jacket designed to carry, connect, and charge portable devices will be available in time for the holidays.


The solar panels are attached to SeV's signature jacket, Version Three.0 Finetex, an all-weather jacket with removable sleeves and more than 30 hidden pockets. The jacket features SeV's patent-pending Personal Area Network (PAN), which conceals wires associated with power sources and earbuds.


Global Solar's PowerFLEX solar panels consist of unique flexible thin-film photovoltaic material made from copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) sun-absorbing material placed onto a thin stainless steel substrate. The panels convert sunlight into electricity, which charges a hidden battery pack about the size of a deck of cards. The battery pack in turn can charge any device compatible with Universal Serial Bus (USB) chargers, including cell phones, PDAs, GameBoys, MP3 players, and other mobile devices.


The solar panels can be removed from the jacket and used separately. Typical charge times in direct sunlight range from 2 to 3 hours, although direct sunlight is not required. The jacket's battery can begin powering devices almost immediately after the solar panels are exposed to sunlight. Once the battery is fully charged, the panels can be removed, and portable electronic devices can tap into the stored power. When attached, the solar panels complement the jacket's stylish, futuristic design.


Global Solar's CIGS technology is a high-efficiency, ultra-lightweight personal solar power solution that has proven itself in numerous applications, ranging from marine to desert environments for the military and others. It is highly durable and the highest-performance flexible solar cell available in the market, ideally suited for mobile applications. Combined with integrated charge control and optional battery/ charger systems, it provides the convenience of backup and on-demand small-scale solar electrical power.


SeV believes this project represents the next logical step in user-wearable computers, since traditional power sources will not be needed to recharge mobile electronic devices. The company expects solar panels to be incorporated into approximately 30% of all its outerwear in the next 3 to 5 years.


Consumers can preorder solar-powered SeVs for $425 at or by calling 866-909-8378.


SeV also plans to offer a kit to retrofit some earlier SeV models with Global Solar's technology.



Babylon Ltd and Clinical Decision Sciences, Inc, have agreed to jointly develop a specialized version of the Babylon information retrieval software for decision support in healthcare clinical information systems and networks.


Babylon CDS is designed to offer comprehensive, customizable content retrieval, seamlessly integrated into clinical information systems (CIS) and healthcare organization (HCO) networks. Approved content from well-known publishers, as well as internal guidelines and protocols currently in use by healthcare organizations and clinical information systems vendors, can be converted into Babylon format, offering a universal gateway to the information, presented via a single interface.


Not search-based, the new solution will combine patented pattern recognition algorithms with indexing mechanisms to "understand" any on-screen word or phrase in context and provide content via an intuitive, workflow-sensitive, dynamic interface.


The software will be a plug-n-play application that requires minimal systems integration and offers standard connectivity for publishers. With just one click within a clinical application such as an EMR or CPOE system, healthcare professionals will have access to clinical reference and decision support content at the point of care; order sets, guidelines, protocols, monographs and databases from multiple sources will be at the user's fingertips.


Clinical Decision Sciences ( develops knowledge resources and information-driven solutions to enhance the process and quality of clinical care, with special emphasis on information architecture, product design, cognitive workflow, and critical thinking skills.


For more information about the system, visit


Babylon is a provider of one-click information access solutions. Its namesake product is a PC desktop tool that delivers language translations, data conversions, and information in a single click. Babylon has also developed Babylon-Corporate, a server-based solution offering a unified platform for retrieval of information from various data sources. For additional information, visit Babylon's Web site