Assessing the readership of the UK National Database of Telemedicine

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Background. The UK National Database of Telemedicine (NDTM) website has been set up to disseminate information on telemedicine activity in the UK. It is funded by the UK Department of Health, with the support of the British Library. The website was launched on 27th October 1998 and is being kept up to date with information about new projects and modifications to the existing ones. Objective. Measuring the readership of the website is important for us to be able to tailor content to the audience, and to identify groups of people who would find it useful but who may not yet have found it. In this paper we describe how we measure the readership of the website and the conclusions we have drawn from our observations. We concentrate solely on technological mechanisms based on the website itself. Method. We use a free Internet service called Extreme Tracking. This involves embedding some JavaScript code into the page whose readership is to be tracked – in our case, the NDTM home page. This approach allows us to gather more information than by other means of tracking. However the information gathered is tempered by features of the Internet and these are discussed. Results. The figures show that NDTM has been visited over 9000 times since we started counting, by over 5000 different visitors. The average number of weekly visits has not changed substantially since after the website's initial publicity died down. The majority of visitors appear to come from within the UK, and we have some technical details of their computer equipment. The majority of visitors find NDTM by following links from other websites, but the use of search engines is becoming more common. Conclusions. The majority of readers are from the UK and access NDTM as part of their jobs. Many readers are from within the UK health community. A potential reader looking for telemedicine websites would be very likely to find NDTM. We plan to continue our work to attempt to discern how many of our readers are users of telemedicine systems and how many are suppliers. We will also continue to take steps to boost the readership of the site.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1999
Event4th Annual World Congress on the Internet in Medicine - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: 1 Sept 1999 → …


Conference4th Annual World Congress on the Internet in Medicine
Period1/09/99 → …


  • Internet
  • Website
  • Databases
  • Readership analysis
  • Telemedicine


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