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October 10, 1966

Production Line Physicals?

JAMA. 1966;198(2):33-34. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110150013004

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The patient sits by a machine. Gadgets tap blood, take blood pressure, and perform other functions swiftly and painlessly. The information is fed to a computer and back to a teletype machine which clicks out a complete medical rundown on the patient within five minutes. Next.....

This ideal electronic device may never be invented, but members of the Senate Aging Subcommittee at recent hearings on multiphasic health screenings were impressed by some machines on display that partially automate the detection of diseases and chronic conditions.

Medical Witnesses  Medical witnesses predicted great strides will be made in early detection devices and methods, but cautioned that the role of the physician must remain paramount until that unlikely day when machines can outmatch human judgment and expertise.Machines are as fallible as the men that put them together, warned Ernest Simard, MD, president of the American College of Pathologists. He noted that a