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Major Problems in the Use of Computing Machines

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1 Author(s)
Taylor, Richard ; IBM Mohansic Res. Center, Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

1) Medical histories recorded by machine. How will these records be used by medical people and medical institutions? The answer to this is important because at the moment no one has told us of a real bona fide use for these records, and consequently, having them in machine form is of no clear-cut advantage. 2) Machine-aided diagnoses. We feel that the computing machine can be of real service in this area, but it is not at all clear exactly how the medical profession can take advantage of the capabilities of the machinery. The real problem here is to use the computer to aid the doctor, not to replace him. 3) Laboratory data. Laboratory data can be fed into computers perhaps more easily than can any other data. However, it is probably going to be important to use laboratory analyzing equipment which can make records in machine-readable form if full advantage is to be taken of the computing machine. 4) The handling of graphical and pictorial information. such as ``EKG, EEG, and X-ray pictures.'' EKG's and EEG's can probably be made to yield to mathematical analysis, but the question of machine-digested X rays is still open. 5) Communication between doctor and computer. The question of how a doctor can introduce data into the computer without having to resort to the usual transcription of handwritten data to punch-card form is one that I feel we must settle if there is to be any progress at all in this area.

Published in:

Medical Electronics, IRE Transactions on  (Volume:ME-7 ,  Issue: 4 )