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Books, Journals, New Media
October 21, 1998

Informatics, TelemedicineGuide to Medical Informatics, the Internet, and Telemedicine

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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by Enrico Coiera, 377 pp, with illus, paper, $55.95, ISBN 0-412-75710-9, New York, NY, Chapman & Hall Medical, 1997.

JAMA. 1998;280(15):1367. doi:10.1001/jama.280.15.1367

We commonly think of telemedicine as a video link between a primary care physician and a specialist. By the author's definition, it is remote communication of information to facilitate clinical care and includes voice, images, elements of a medical record, and commands to a surgical robot. While telemedicine deals with communication, medical informatics focuses on the use of information.

Dr Coiera, an MD and a computer scientist, is a well-known authority in Europe and Australia. His present work offers physicians with self-taught and fragmentary knowledge in computer skills a comprehensive view of medical computing, laying a solid basis for this new discipline. The book, however, is not an easy, undemanding manual or a source of medically interesting Web sites, newsgroups, or mailing lists. It is a standard textbook and an introduction to a medical specialty. As such, it fulfills the expectations of the serious student.

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