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June 13, 1966

The Role of Computers in Medical Research

JAMA. 1966;196(11):944-949. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100240078016

The purpose of research in medicine is to find new relationships and refine knowledge of already known relationships among the elements which constitute living systems and to find better ways of using this knowledge for prediction and control of the living system. The computer brings to the researcher in almost any phase of medical research a means for amplifying his own powers of observation and insight. It is the purpose of this paper to discuss two of the ways in which computers are presently being used to serve these purposes, namely, on-line data processing and computer simulation of living systems.

Storage, Transformation, and Display of Data  Many new devices have been developed in recent years for the storage and display of information. As a point of reference, consider the strip chart recorder used by most physicians for recording the electrocardiogram. This useful device has limitations, however, in that generally (1)

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