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June 20, 1986

Softwhere: Health Care

JAMA. 1986;255(23):3309. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370230115042

Sooner or later, computer users are united in a final common pathway: the search for good software. An outstanding program can rescue a mediocre piece of hardware from the scrap heap; an uninspired package (or, worse yet, the absence of sufficient software altogether) can destroy the utility of the most sophisticated home, personal, or office computer.

Where does one look for medical software? The local computer store salesperson is likely to offer hightech platitudes at the mention of "medical software" ("Oh, yes, it's under development"). The general-interest microcomputer magazines have little to offer, and even the massive hardware-specific catalogues have thin medical sections at best. I breathed a small sigh of relief at the initial release of Softwhere: Health Care. The publication of a much larger second edition is cause for a somewhat larger sigh.

The strengths of the work are substantial. Many hundreds of programs are listed in a