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Keywords:

  • vascular malformation;
  • hemangioma;
  • e-mail;
  • internet;
  • website

Background

Internet-mediated communication in health care is becoming increasingly important. The purpose of this study was to analyze internet-mediated physician–patient interaction in an angioma center.

Methods

Patient-related e-mails received between January 2002 and June 2009 were retrospectively analyzed regarding the diagnosis of hemangiomas or vascular malformations. Additionally, the visitors' statistics of the corresponding website ‘‘www.angiome.de” was evaluated.

Results

Five hundred forty-eight e-mails matched the criteria of the study. From 2002 to 2008, the number of messages registered annually increased by a factor of 20 and the average number of e-mails per patient tripled. The number of new patients contacting the center via e-mail increased from 12 to 72 per year. The website ‘‘www.angiome.de” was visited 8490 times in 2008 and 13,291 times in 2009.

Conclusion

The presence of the internet is relevant to get in touch with new patients and to provide information for nonprofessionals and experts especially in diseases with low incidence. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 36: 187–190, 2014