The Global Spa Summit (GSS) has chosen SelfOptima, Inc. to develop the first Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) Portal for spa and wellness modalities.
For this project SelfOptima will tailor their technology platform to act as a content aggregator and will curate the growing archive of medical data about the efficacy of spas’ wellness approaches into a transparent and easy-to-use format, accessible to all. The portal will be unveiled at the fifth annual Global Spa Summit on 18 May 2011, in Bali, Indonesia.
The medical industry defines Evidence-Based Medicine as “the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.” And this new evidence-based database will be available as a free resource to anyone interested in accessing the hard, clinical data about whether some of the most common spa and wellness offerings are scientifically proven to work. Several well-known medical doctors will help curate the existing evidence from a wide variety of reputable databases, and it will be a “living, breathing” project, offering users the opportunity to contribute studies and information from other resources.
“This much-needed database will be a crucial tool in helping global consumers not only investigate the benefits of spa and wellness approaches, but to believe in them. It’s likely to impact doctors who prescribe, public officials who legislate, and insurers who reimburse – and the project could ultimately prove the bedrock for future, perhaps unimagined, industry growth,” is how Susie Ellis, Global Spa Summit Board Member and President of SpaFinder, Inc. explains the vision for this innovative project.
At the 2010 Global Spa Summit in Istanbul, Dr. Kenneth R. Pelletier, renowned expert in the field of Integrative Medicine, planted the seed for this undertaking when he noted in his keynote address that, “The spa industry has been too quiet in trumpeting the evidenced-based data that supports many spa modalities. While there are thousands of studies that favour the use of approaches such as massage, yoga, meditation, and acupuncture, the data has not been easily accessible. We do not need to wait for research to happen. What we do need to do for starters is to find the research that already exists and broadcast it.”
SelfOptima CEO Nader Vasseghi notes, “Our vision is to help people optimize their health through an integrative approach. We do this through a combination of technology as well as evidenced-based knowledge and guidance to help our users attain optimal health in body, mind and spirit. We are excited to join forces with the Global Spa Summit to help shape the spa industry by capturing evidence–based claims about the efficacy of spa treatments.”
Susie Ellis further notes that the project will not only provide the industry with an invaluable, accessible resource, it will give spa professionals greater confidence in what they do, it will educate the consumer, and it will become a media resource. “We’re very pleased to have SelfOptima as a partner. Our missions are complementary: supporting people in all aspects of health and wellness. And we’re excited to leverage cutting-edge Silicon Valley technology to help us build this online resource, given that the vast majority of consumers now turn to the Internet in their quest for health and wellness information.”