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Invited Commentary
January 2016

Computers in the Examination Room

Author Affiliations
  • 1Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
  • 2Center for Healthcare Information and Communication, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, Indiana
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(1):128-129. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.6559

A 1684 engraving by Robert White depicts England’s King William II performing “the royal touch,” a laying on of hands that was purported to cure scrofula, a form of tuberculosis. In the picture, the patient is kneeling, with the king’s hands touching the affected area. Aside from the fact that the procedure had no basis in science and no effect on a cure, it does illustrate a timeless principle of medical care: the importance of direct contact in the process of providing care.

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