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March 27, 1981

Computers in Medicine

Author Affiliations

New Jersey Medical School Newark

JAMA. 1981;245(12):1216. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310370014009

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To the Editor.—  Extraordinary advances are being made in computer technology. The derivative question is whether we are using that computer capability as effectively as we should for health purposes. It seems to me there are two areas in which we should surely use our computer capabilities more extensively.The first relates to potential illnesses caused by workplace exposure. More than 50,000 chemicals are in use in this country, and there are virtually daily pronouncements concerning the dangers of some of them to workers and sometimes to the public.Many companies have sedulously attempted to improve workplace health conditions. Others are absolutely intransigent in refusing to permit any investigation, even after evidence is presented suggesting strongly that their employees have health problems (particularly a higher cancer incidence) that merit analysis. The number of investigations needed is so large that our present regulatory agencies cannot even begin to cope with the