This Web Site
History of “Neonatology on the Web”
The Neonatology on the Web site grew originally from the long-standing use of personal computers for on-line reference materials and decision support in the neonatal intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CSMC), a well-known 950-bed non-profit private hospital in Los Angeles, California. Many of these applications and documents were originally created during my pediatric residency and neonatology fellowship at Cedars-Sinai, and were ported over the years from CP/M (1978) to MP/M (1980) to DEC VMS (1984) to the Apple Macintosh (1990).
After John Markoff broke the news about the Mosaic web browser in the New York Times on December 8, 1993, I saw an opportunity to do one last port of these NICU applications and then quit worrying about platform-dependence forever. Unfortunately, early web servers were UNIX-based and I had no administrative access to a suitable UNIX server. This roadblock vanished in 1994 when a free web server for Windows NT version 3.1 was made available for downloading by the European Microsoft Windows Academic Consortium (EMWAC).
By the fall of 1994, I had downloaded and installed the EMWAC web server software on the Pediatric Department’s file and print server, and began to tackle the conversion and HTML-tagging of the existing NICU on-line documents. At the end of December 1994, we went on-line with a web-based searchable medication reference, various other reference materials, and a phone directory for employees and medical staff, using the first version of the Netscape web browser running on Macintosh Classics in the neonatal ICU.
During early 1995, I became increasingly conscious of the World-Wide-Web’s potential to support universally-available medical information resources at minimal cost, and became determined to establish a public web site dedicated to the needs of neonatal-perinatal medicine. In August 1995, I created the first version of Neonatology on the Web on the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center public web server (http://www.csmc.edu/neonatology/) and announced its availability via Peter Tarczy-Hornoch’s NICU-NET mailing list. My learning curve with web technology was amply (and sometimes embarrassingly) documented in my PC Magazine “Power Programming” columns of April through December, 1995.
The initial content of Neonatology on the Web was essentially a clone of CSMC’s internal NICU on-line reference materials with the usual disclaimers and caveats, plus a few photos, humorous medical papers, and a bibliography of computers in neonatal care. All of the pages were hand-coded HTML using a simple text editor. Over the next year, various other resources were added, including a free job directory for positions wanted and positions available in neonatal-perinatal health care in April 1996. Usage of the web site increased dramatically. It soon became clear that Neonatology on the Web was accounting for a significant portion of Cedars-Sinai’s total Internet bandwidth and web server capacity, and I began to investigate the possibility of hosting the content elsewhere.
In May 1998, the domain names www.neonatology.net, www.neonatology.com, and www.neonatology.net were acquired through Network Solutions, and in June 1998, Neonatology on the Web was moved from Cedars-Sinai’s public web server to a web server farm operated by CerfNet (a California ISP owned by General Atomics) and made available under these new domain names. During the subsequent wave of Internet buyouts, ISP mergers, and telecommunications company meltdowns, the web site was moved to AT&T’s Small Business Hosting service in April 2000, then to Interland in February 2002, then to WEB.COM, which was subsequently acquired by Network Solutions.
In August, 2022, the web site was migrated to WordPress and rehosted on DreamHost.com to modernize the UI and tools.
Notice to Families of Patients and Concerned Others
The information provided on this site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient’s family/site visitor and the patient’s physician. Any and all clinical information that may be found on this site, or by following links to other sites, is made available for general informational purposes only, and should never be construed as a guide to therapy. Every baby’s case is different, and every baby is special. The care plan for each baby is developed by the baby’s physicians and the multidisiplinary care team based on the baby’s age, clinical condition, current studies and findings, and medical history.
Neonatology on the Web is not supported, endorsed, or subsidized by any agency, organization, or company, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. All web hosting and domain name fees are paid by me personally, and all content is prepared in my “spare time” outside of normal working hours. In short, I am solely responsible for the materials you find here, and the selection of those materials is completely arbitrary, based on my own interests and opinions. You are hereby warned that all of the content of Neonatology on the Web is provided “as is” with no guarantee of timeliness and correctness, and that you use this content at your own risk. In other words, if you get any junk from here, you’re on your own!
Ray Duncan, MD, FAAP, FAMIA
Webmaster, Neonatology on the Web