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June 13, 1966

Routine Use of a Small Digital Computer in the Clinical Laboratory

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

JAMA. 1966;196(11):973-978. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100240107021

It is common for clinical laboratories to experience an increase in demand for their services out of proportion to the increase in the number of patients served. Since this increased reliance upon laboratory studies for diagnosis and follow-up care is based, at least in part, upon growth of knowledge of disease mechanisms, it is likely that this trend will continue. Efforts to cope with this expanding work load by introducing automatic analytical equipment have been only partly successful. There remain, not substantially affected by automation, an increasing number and variety of manually performed tests and the formidable task of processing the output of the automatic instruments. The use of digital computers has been proposed as a solution to this problem and several applications have been described.1-6 These systems have involved largely the handling of data once thay have been put into computer-processable form. Relatively little attention has been given

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