To the Editor.
—The in focus feature by Foreman1 in the January issue of the Archives quite correctly warns that the use of interactive diagnostic and therapeutic advice programs may carry significant liability risks. While it might indeed be wise to be wary of such programs for the near future, I believe that the legal and therapeutic risks will soon lie with the neglect of such decision programs.The practice of ophthalmology includes a multitude of tasks, some of which can now be, or will be, performed by machines (such as refractions, keratometry readings, or electrodiagnostic studies). One area of our profession that has been "protoplasmic" but that may soon be electronic is the formulation of the diagnosis and treatment plan for a patient. A complete and subtle differential diagnosis with an integrated knowledge of the current literature is the goal of our education, but a modest program will
Lewis JW. Importance of Computer Information Systems. Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(8):1116. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070020182010