History of Medical Web sites
Despite the technological orientation of modern medicine, physicians have been slow to use the internet in their practices. One reason for this is that medicine is a cottage industry, lacking the industrial organization of banking, finance, telecommunications and other service industries (12). Many physicians still do not use the Internet, or use it only in a limited way, missing its potential application to their professional practice (8). Internet technology has vast potential for medicine in research, practice management, data exchange and resource availability to rural areas, but until medicine moves from the current model of isolated physician practices, this potential will remain untapped.

One measure of the limited penetration of the Internet into medicine is the finding that out of over 11 million current Medline references, less than 7000 include any reference to the Internet or the World Wide Web (Figure 1). The rate of growth of medical literature referencing the Internet, although rapid, is still dwarfed by the rate of growth of the number of the internet itself (Figure 2).