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June 22, 1994

Computer Networks as a Medical ResourceAccessing and Using the Internet

Author Affiliations

From the Nuclear Medicine Service, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Dr Glowniak), and The Information Technology Group, Biomedical Information Communication Center, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland (Ms Bushway).

JAMA. 1994;271(24):1934-1939. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510480058035

COMPUTERS have become indispensable tools for managing the rapidly growing body of medical information. Computer programs with large databases such as MEDLINE and GRATEFUL MED have markedly simplified the task of searching the medical literature and retrieving information from it. As successful as these programs have been, they cannot access the increasing amount of medical information now available in electronic format. Databases, on-line reference sources, and electronic bulletin boards are scattered among thousands of computers located on hundreds of networks. To access these resources, the Internet has evolved and links together independent networks so that a user can obtain information from computers around the world. By means of the Internet, physicians can obtain nearly instantaneous access to the daily summaries from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the National Cancer Institute's CancerNet system, Food and Drug Administration bulletin boards, and much more. This article

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