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January 2, 2002

Free Software and Physician Profiling—Reply

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;287(1):45. doi:10.1001/jama.287.1.40

In Reply: Mr Tsai suggests that the collection of data regarding patterns of software usage represents a hidden cost or perhaps some new hazard to voluntary users of ePocrates.

Not only is this issue highly speculative, it is hardly novel. Physicians are among the most studied professionals: witness innumerable surveys and polls offered for our participation, often accompanied by honoraria.

We as Americans may not know it but data collection occurs regarding our credit, our earnings, and even our shopping habits. For instance, following my recent experience of purchasing a few flower bulbs at a local garden store with a credit card, I soon found multiple bulb catalogs in my mailbox at home. But is this really much of an issue?

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