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Over 40 million American women will enter their 40s in the next two decades, and the subject of menopause is gaining widespread attention. Many women, however, do not know what to expect during the menopause and are asking health professionals for more information and help in making decisions about hormone therapy. Unfortunately, health professionals often know little about the normal menopause transition and may not be up-to-date on the risks and benefits of hormone therapy. Further, at a recent NIH-sponsored conference on menopause (March 1993), one of the primary recommendations was that health professionals need to be provide with the skills to help counsel women and involve women in decision making about menopause management. The purpose of this SBIR is to develop a detailed design for the production of a CD-ROM program for health professionals which will provide a comprehensive, up-to-date source of information and training on the issues of menopause and hormon replacement therapy. The CD-ROM, designed as a CME accredited program, will not only provide a rich source of background material and research data on menopause and hormone replacement therapy, but will enable practitioners to learn ways of working with women to help them make decisions. The high degree of flexibility, interactivity, and control allowed by CD-ROM technology will allow for sophisticated self-tests, th presentation of audio and visual educational vignettes, and production of informational packets customized for patients.

Based on years of research experience on menopause from the acclaimed Massachusetts Women's Health Study, the proposed investigators are particularly qualified to develop this program. The specific aims of this Phase I application are: . to develop a detailed High-Level Design for the CD-ROM in collaboration with content providers and CD-ROM producers; .to develop a distribution plan in collaboration with a qualified CD-ROM producer and distributor; . to initiate CME accreditation for the product; . to work with consultants to optimize the content, interface, and subject matter of the disc; and . to develop a plan for Phase II during which the disc content will be finalized and the disc will be produced and evaluated.

PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: With no competing products currently available and market potential of over 650,000 primary care physicians 125 medical schools and 2500 nursing programs in the United States alone the proposed product has tremendous commercial viability. Worldwide distribution will be made possible through a collaboration with SilverPlatter Education, the premier publisher of educational products with pre-existing market penetration in the medical community and an alliance with the American Medical Association for CME accreditation.

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