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Application of Computers in Clinical Practice

William A. Spencer, MD; Carlos Vallbona, MD
JAMA. 1965;191(11):917-921. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080110041010.
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Less than six years ago a group of physicians and J scientists gathered at the Rockefeller Institute in New York to discuss the role of computers in medicine.1 The physician who attended that conference could easily fire his imagination and envision an era when widespread use of computers would permit precise automatic diagnoses, rapid solutions to complex physiological problems, accurate automatic analysis of laboratory and functional tests, and easy retrieval of clinical and research data. Subsequent to that original meeting, the scientific and lay literature have been flooded with articles, mostly speculative, describing potential applications of computers in various fields of medical practice. As a result, a climate of expectation has developed, the general feeling being that practicality in these usages is just around the corner.

An appraisal of the tangible effects of the application of computers in medicine to date reveals that some of the early expectations have

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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