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Staying healthy in a wired world

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1 Author(s)
M. McCandless ; Lab. for Comput. Sci., MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA

Our medical records store some of our most valuable information. Quick, reliable access to this information can make the difference between life and death. Yet, despite these stakes, we have accepted the risks of our current paper-based system. Storing medical records online is one of the first steps toward improving many aspects of health care. Whereas you have limited access to your current paper record, you can browse your online record from anywhere and at any time. Having our records online will enable a new medical service industry. Online medical records will also facilitate statistical medical research. High-quality World Wide Web sites offer wide-ranging medical information presented in terms that the layman can understand. Medical information represents one of our most private kinds of information, and so moving our records online poses major concerns. Fortunately, we have already surmounted many of the technological barriers of maintaining privacy. Effectively using the Internet to improve our health care will require infrastructure development and cooperation among many resources. Starting with online medical records, the Internet promises to help us stay healthier. With easier access to our medical history and valuable medical references, patients will be empowered to take more of their well-being into their own hands, doctors will be able to deliver better care, and researchers will make new medical breakthroughs

Published in:

IEEE Intelligent Systems and their Applications  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 1 )