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A Piece of My Mind
October 21, 1998

The X Factor

Author Affiliations

Edited by Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor

JAMA. 1998;280(15):1294. doi:10.1001/jama.280.15.1294

As chairman of a large manufacturer of microchips, I'm involved every day in the creation and deployment of information technology. As a prostate cancer patient, who was diagnosed 3 years ago, I had an opportunity to explore the potential of this technology in health care, using the Internet to help me research my illness and determine the course of my treatment.

Networked computers and digital communication are now common in modern commercial operations, large and small. Data are turned into information, information into knowledge, and knowledge into informed decisions far faster than it was when such exchanges required one's physical presence in meetings and the successful completion of arduous games of telephone tag.

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