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Use of Computers in ECG Interpretation

Robert J. Needles, M.D.
JAMA. 1962;182(9):970. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050480076023.
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To the Editor:—  Science has grown so complex in the minds of scientists so peculiar, that it seems to me a little common sense should be introduced into the act. As an example, it has been suggested (Pipberger, H. V., and Stallman, F. W.: Use of Computers in ECG Interpretation, Amer HeartJ64:285-286 [Aug.] 1962) that electronic computers could be used to interpret electrocardiograms.The technical problems thus introduced include the need to eliminate all but 3 of the standard 12-lead tracings. This is for a most practical reason: the use of 12 in-put channels would be too costly. Fortunately, it was discovered that a large part of the standard 12-lead information is redundant. It is likely that the orthagonal characteristics of spatial orientation, when correlated with the G.N.P. and the well-known high cost of medical care, will produce a volume of statistical information sufficient to confuse H.E.W.


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