Information Technology is Central to the Conduct of Medicine

Medicine always was a discipline of information processing. We took data (signs and symptoms) from the patient, matched them against our knowledge-base (the hopefully updated residue of medical school) and then came up with a interwoven diagnostic and therapeutic plan. We then understood that this information processing could be automated. But then, there were no electronic medical record systems that could truly provide the data that such automation required. Decades later, the federal government is trying to make a concerted push into this arena, one that explicitly includes the patient (us) as an active participant in this information processing enterprise. Yesterday, we wrapped up an interesting meeting attended by representatives of the government, academia, and industry to address some specific opportunities to catalyze successful deployment.


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