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The Division of Computer Research and Technology (DCRT), just 20 years old this year, pursues the dual roles of research and development, incorporating computers into the biomedical programs and administrative procedures at the NIH. It also supplies other federal agencies with biomedical and computing services.
The NIH's raison d'être is biomedical research, and here the DCRT plays its most important service role, says Arnold W. Pratt, MD, the division's first and only director: "Researchers present us with a problem and we see how we can help them solve it. Also, if we see that there's a problem to tackle, we go ahead and set up a program, telling the institutes it's available and what it can do for them.
"We work in close collaboration with the institutes on programs they sponsor. There's a unique combination of scientific intelligence here at DCRT that understands mathematics, statistics, engineering, and other elements of
Marwick C. Intellectual era ahead for medical computing. JAMA. 1984;252(16):2331–2332. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350160189056
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