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July 1962

The Acalculiac: An Exploration into the Errors of the Human Factor in Human Diagnosis

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(1):132-133. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620190134024

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This is an advance review of a forward-looking book. Its thesis is that with the expanding universe of diseases and the contracting number of physicians, automation must come into medicine. For that reason, computer diagnosis in the form of a computer called the Acalculiac assures adequate diagnosis without human error and without human judgment. The only human factor is the patient; but with the rapid advances in science that should be remedied in the near future.

Mann maintains that computer diagnosis is far superior to the nonexact evaluation of a condition done by a physician—because a man's judgment does not enter therein. As an example, he cites a case where two different diagnoses were made by two physicians in examining the same patient at the same time. Both could not be correct—one could have been right—but both were wrong.

Moreover, the author points out that multiple coexisting conditions in one

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