We commonly think of telemedicine as a video link between a primary care physician and a specialist. By the author's definition, it is remote communication of information to facilitate clinical care and includes voice, images, elements of a medical record, and commands to a surgical robot. While telemedicine deals with communication, medical informatics focuses on the use of information.
Dr Coiera, an MD and a computer scientist, is a well-known authority in Europe and Australia. His present work offers physicians with self-taught and fragmentary knowledge in computer skills a comprehensive view of medical computing, laying a solid basis for this new discipline. The book, however, is not an easy, undemanding manual or a source of medically interesting Web sites, newsgroups, or mailing lists. It is a standard textbook and an introduction to a medical specialty. As such, it fulfills the expectations of the serious student.