Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD
Shortliffe E.; Health Care and the Next Generation Internet. Ann Intern Med. 1998;129:138-140. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-129-2-199807150-00017
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1998;129(2):138-140.
The Internet phenomenon-spurred on since the early 1990s by the creation of its most successful application, the World Wide Web-has had a remarkable impact on our global society in just a few years . The penetration of the Internet into our homes, schools, and workplaces has arguably exceeded the rate at which earlier popular consumer technologies (such as television and video-cassette recorders) were adopted.
The world of medicine and health care has not escaped the impact of the Internet, and health-related sites are among the most frequently accessed information resources on the Web. Medical observers are rethinking the optimal methods for implementing electronic medical record systems that are based on Internet technology , and distribution of biomedical information through the Internet is increasingly commonplace and accepted . This issue includes two articles that describe both the promise and the problems related to the expanding uses of telecommunications in health care. Grigsby and Sanders  summarize the burgeoning activities in the area of telemedicine, acknowledging the logistic, fiscal, and regulatory barriers that have prevented more rapid adoption of these promising methods. de Groen and colleagues  describe a clever Internet application that monitors for rare diseases that previously would have defied efficient or comprehensive tracking. We should anticipate many more such applications as our horizons broaden and more health care workers realize how networking infrastructure can support new and innovative biomedical applications.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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