TITLE: Estronaut: A Forum for Women's Health

ACCESS: http://www.estronaut.com or http://www.womenshealth.org

The web can be a valuable tool for finding information on personal health issues not found in conventional reference works. Estronaut is an online resource addressing a variety of subjects concerning women's health. Developed and maintained by GenneX Healthcare Technologies Inc., Estronaut's goal is to offer current information and advice from physicians who specialize in women's health. Information for this site is gathered from published medical studies and recent textbooks. The site's content is monitored by medical director and CEO of GenneX Healthcare Technologies, Karen Sarpolis, M.D., M.B.A.

Written in frank language, topics on this site are organized by subject and age group. Medical terminology is defined, illustrating the site's intended general audience. While there are articles written for adolescents, the majority of articles are for adult women. The articles found at Estronaut either respond to specific questions or examine results from studies published elsewhere. Estronaut informed readers early on of the problems with Fen-Phen, Fosamax, and Tamoxifen. Maneuvering around Estronaut is simple with a side bar menu on each screen or users can search the site by keyword. Each article has a link to any scientific references used in the article. Visitors to Estronaut are invited to be active users; they are encouraged to rate each article. Also, readers may email questions to the medical advisor, Dr. Sarpolis.

Although the organization, treatment, and goals of Estronaut are admirable, there are several aspects of this web site which disappoint. The articles vary in quality; the strongest articles are those dealing with medical issues or pharmaceuticals. None of the articles credit an author or originating source. Of sixteen articles examined only two had single references listed. No information is available concerning when Estronaut was established, nor is one able to determine how often the site is updated or when the last update occurred. Readers are invited to rate each article (via email) but the results are not posted on the site.

Although Estronaut does not quite meet its goals, it serves as a good introduction to women's health issues and offers general audiences, including college students, basic information on a variety of topics.

Kimberly Bartosz
Eastern Connecticut State University

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