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November 1998, Week 1


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"Mitchell B Stargrove, ND, LAc" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mitchell B Stargrove, ND, LAc
Mon, 2 Nov 1998 22:58:14 -0800
text/plain (225 lines)
Press Release

IBIS medical software:
A Digital Age prescription that helps healthcare providers
meet the growing demand for alternative remedies

With nearly half of Americans now using some form of alternative therapies,
Integrative Medical Arts Group Inc.(IMA) of Beaverton, OR., has released a
new version of its IBIS medical software, the standard reference tool on
alternative medicine for healthcare professionals for over six years.

The Integrative BodyMind Information System (IBIS) provides therapeutic
options to treat 282 common medical conditions, drawing from the full
spectrum of alternative therapies and integrative medicine. IBIS also
contains clinical information on herbs, nutritional supplements and a wide
range of natural substances as well as a patient educational materials such
as home care instructions, visualizations, recipes and exercises. The
newest version of IBIS features state-of-the-art multiplatform programming,
an elegant and intuitive interface, and hundreds of new articles providing
up-to-date information on topics of concern to patients and physicians
alike. Yet this new version of IBIS is generating a new level of attention
not just because of what's in it but because of who's using it.

Even the most conservative elements of the medical community recognize the
need for an authoritative reference on these often confusing topics. While
previous versions of IBIS have been widely praised in the natural medicine
community, this new release has generated excitement in some unexpected
quarters -- conventional medical schools, clinics, pharmacies and
hospitals. Likewise, patients everywhere will be happy to know that their
medical doctors and the local hospital now have access to reliable
information on herbs, homeopathy, nutritional supplements and the other
forms of alternative medicine that they want to include among their
healthcare options.

"IBIS provides us with an exceptional and easy-to-use reference tool to
understand and evaluate alternative and complementary medical disciplines
as they become part of the medical mainstream,'' commented Dr. Robert
Stern, Medical Director for Alternative and Complementary Medicine for
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Connecticut, an emerging leader in the
field.  "With the steady growth in the use of alternative therapies by
consumers and the emergence of multidisciplinary clinics specializing in
integrative medicine, we see great prospects for improved care and reduced
costs. However, many of us in the world of healthcare delivery and managed
care don't really understand alternative therapies, how they work, or when
they are appropriate. IBIS will give us just what we need to effectively
serve our customers who choose to use these healthcare practices.''

IBIS: A modern compendium of time-tested practices

The Integrative BodyMind Information System (IBIS) is a comprehensive
clinical database that enables healthcare providers and allied
professionals to become more familiar with nutrition, acupuncture,
homeopathy, Western and Chinese herbs and mind/body approaches, and
integrate these remedies into their own practices.

Designed by practicing healthcare professionals, IBIS was originally
compiled over four years of research by a team of naturopathic physicians
(N.D.s), acupuncturists, chiropractors, herbalists, homeopaths and medical
students. It features more than 10,000 pages of hyperlinked clinical data
together with modules that enable users to add their own notes, record
patient-visit records, and analyze clinical outcomes.

Since it was first published in 1992, IBIS has become the standard
reference tool for healthcare professionals needing quick, balanced and
reliable information on alternative medical therapies. While usage during
its first three years was tilted toward naturopaths, acupuncturists and
chiropractors, the last three years have seen a large increase in demand
from medical doctors, pharmacists, clinics, medical schools, libraries and

"IBIS is an excellent information data base on alternative medical
therapies....  extremely useful to anyone seeking information on
alternative therapies."
- Joe Jacobs, M.D., Former Director
Office of Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Doctors hear the boom in natural medicine

Natural medicine and alternative therapies are booming -- a trend that
appears to be no passing fad, but a fundamental shift in American
healthcare. In response to consumer demand, a new ''integrative medicine''
is emerging, combining the best of conventional medicine and alternative

Many doctors were taken by surprise in January 1993 when Dr. David
Eisenberg of Harvard Medical School released a landmark study in the New
England Journal of Medicine showing that one-third of Americans were using
unconventional medicine.  More recent studies have found that 40 to 50
percent of Americans are using alternative therapies (Elder, Archives Fam
Med., March 19, 1997; Astin, JAMA, May 20, 1998). Other research shows that
even more are taking herbs and supplements on their own.

Patient interest has far outpaced the resources of doctors, hospitals and
insurance companies, as they discover that their standard texts and
reference books do not cover herbs, supplements and homeopathic remedies.
Patients often feel that they know more than their doctors do and that
physicians aren't listening to them or respecting their choices.
Responsible physicians, for their part, desire reliable information about
the choices that their patients are making so that they can give better
advice and treatment.

It is crucial that physicians, pharmacists and other healthcare providers
have up-to-date, balanced and scientifically-founded reference tools to
effectively and responsibly approach non-conventional medicine, to become
aware of its strengths and informed about clinical indications, proper
dosages, toxicities and interactions. Just because something is natural
doesn't mean it is effective or safe; if a medicine or supplement is
powerful, then a trained healthcare professional needs to supervise its use.

In response, we see practitioners from all fields of medicine communicating
more and starting to work together to create a new integrative medicine:
 -- A 1994 survey of physicians from a wide range of medical specialties
and diverse locales revealed that more than 60 percent recommended
alternative therapies to their patients at least once in the preceding
year, while 38 percent had done so in the previous month. Forty-seven
percent used alternative therapies themselves, while 23 percent
incorporated them into their practices. (Borkan, et al, J Fam Pract,
1994;39:545-550; Perkin, et al. J R Soc Med, 1994;87:523-525; MacLennan, et
al. Lancet. 1996;347:569-573)
-- Last year's NIH Consensus Conference on Acupuncture gave enhanced
credibility to the ancient art of acupuncture based on solid scientific
findings and a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled clinical trials of
homeopathy published in The Lancet (Sept. 20, 1997) confirmed that positive
clinical results were significantly greater than could be attributable to
placebo effects.
-- A majority of conventional medical schools in the United States now have
at least minimal coursework available as an introduction to nonconventional
therapies and medical traditions such as acupuncture, herbalism, Ayurveda
and homeopathy. Many of these are considered conventional or traditional in
many parts of the world but are new to most doctors. Likewise, professional
and post-graduate doctoral programs in naturopathic medicine, chiropractic
and acupuncture are flourishing as new colleges are being accredited and
graduates move into the professional healthcare delivery system.

IBIS helps bring alternatives into the mainstream

IBIS provides an easy-to-use reference tool for evaluating alternative and
complementary medical disciplines as they become part of the medical
mainstream.  Such tools will certainly be necessary as traditional
insurance companies further expand their coverage to include alternative
therapies and HMOs begin to enroll the licensed practitioners of such
therapies in their plans. This has already occurred in Washington state and
is part of nearly every coverage-provider's future direction.

Medicine has always been based on discovery, innovation and dialogue. To be
successful in achieving meaningful evolution, healthcare practitioners
emphasize the need for shared assumptions, increased familiarity and common

"Just as a naturopathic doctor or an acupuncturist needs to study and be
able to look up information on pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures,
every medical doctor, nurse and pharmacist should be at least conversant
with the basics of alternative therapies and be able to access clinical
data on herbs, supplements, homeopathics and other medicines," said
Mitchell B. Stargrove, N.D., L.Ac., the developer of IBIS and a Professor
of the History of Medicine. "More and more we will be seeing teams of
practitioners from various approaches working together to care for patients
with more chronic and severe conditions."

Dr. Stargrove and his associates have hosted HealthWWWeb, a popular
educational and resource-oriented website, and Paracelsus, an Internet
discussion group for dialogue among healthcare professionals of different
disciplines for the past four years.

Patients will be reassured to see their healthcare providers talking with
each other, gaining respect for each other's strengths, and cooperating
together for greater clinical effectiveness. Tools such as IBIS and forums
such as Paracelsus contribute toward this goal.

Technical notes:

IBIS98 runs on Windows95/98/NT and Macintosh OS, with minimum system
requirements of 60 megabytes of hard drive space available and 16 megabytes
of RAM. A new version for UNIX will soon be available and World Wide Web
access is planned for later this year.

The cost of IBIS is $695 for clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, healthfood
stores and other institutions; students at accredited schools are eligible
for a 20% student discount. Quarterly content updates are available by
subscription. The current Professional Version of IBIS is only available to
healthcare practitioners, educators and allied professionals, but a version
for the general public is anticipated in response to high demand.

You can learn more about IBIS on the World Wide Web at

HealthWWWeb, and its calendar of events, Resource Guide, links to related
World Wide Web sites, and directory of educational institutions,
professional associations, and other valuable resources, can be accessed
via the URL:

Paracelsus is the premiere discussion group on the Internet for healthcare
professionals interested in the clinical practice on integrative medicine.
If you are a healthcare professional and are intrigued by the potential of
sharing insights with over 600-900 other practitioners, send an e-mail
message to [log in to unmask] and ask for information on how
to subscribe.

About the company:

Integrative Medical Arts Group, Inc. (IMA) develops and distributes
software tools and other resources for healthcare professionals and the
general public. We can be reached at 503/526-1972 or via e-mail as
[log in to unmask] Our fax number is 503/641-4541.

Integrative BodyMind Information System and HealthWWWeb are trademarks of
Integrative Medical Arts Group, Inc.

  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

        "Theory and practice should together form one,
                   and should remain undivided."    - Paracelsus

  Mitch Stargrove, N.D., L.Ac.                <[log in to unmask]>
Coordinator of the Paracelsus discussion list for health care professionals

      Integrative Medicine, Natural Health and Alternative Therapies
    IBIS Medical Software: the Integrative BodyMind Information System