$1.5 million to help distribute medical information

The National Cancer Institute is awarding $1.5 million to regional centers

that create innovative projects to distribute medical information to underserved


The Pilot Project to Overcome the Digital Divide allows researchers in the

14 Cancer Information Service centers the opportunity to try new ways to

disseminate information to those who typically cannot access information

via technology.

The Cancer Information Service is a combination of 14 regional offices that

provide information to the public on recent cancer studies.

"We know that people that have less access to information have a harder

time making good choices on health," said Barbara Rimer, the director of

NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Science, from which the

pilot is being run.

Rimer said that one of the most sought after types of information on the

Internet is medical information. People without technology are at a disadvantage,

she said.

The pilots could range widely, Rimer said, but could include:

* Partnering with a technology company that distributes used computers to

underserved populations and ensures that medical information is readily

available on them.

* Working with a company to train people on how to use technology so that

they could access medical information.

* Investigating barriers outside of finances that keep people from accessing

the information.

Six to eight centers will be awarded money in sums of about $200,000 for

a year, Rimer said. After the first year, the projects will be reviewed

to see if they should continue, she said.

Solicitations must be received by June 9, and the proposal deadline is 30

days after that.


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