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Title A Computer-Based Medical-History System
Author(s) Warner V. Slack, MD; G. Phillip Hicks, PhD; Charles E. Reed, MD; and Lawrence J. Van Cura, MS
Source NEJM, Vol. 274, No. 4, Pages 194-198
Publication Date January 27, 1966
Abstract A small, versatile digital computer (LINK) used to obtain clinical histories from patients is described. As a pilot study, the program was constructed to elicit symptoms of allergy. Questions are presented to patients on a cathode-ray screen. The patient responds by pressing the appropriate one of four keys. The presentation of the questions is a function of the patients' responses. The responses are stored on magnetic tape for future analysis, and significant responses are printed in phrase form for immediate use. In a study of the allergy histories of 50 patients the computer was superior to the physician-recorded past histories but less detailed when dealing with the present illness of asthma. The attitude of patients participating in the study was generally one of interest and approval.

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