The average physician is unlikely to build a computer in his basement from a kit. But the principles of computer analysis are not difficult to master. Evidence of the growing importance of these complex electronic machines is found in the announcement that the potential of the computer in medicine will be discussed at the 13th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association in San Francisco on Thursday, June 25th.
Besides the data carrier, which may be magnetic tape, punched paper tape, or punched cards, an electronic computer usually has four main parts: an input device, a storage pool, a processing unit, and an output device. Input devices transmit information from a carrier by means of electrical current to a "store." In the store, coded information is magnetically recorded and laid away in specified locations. The processing unit removes information from the store or directly from the input device. After various