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50 Years Ago

Science Past from the issue of July 18, 1959

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Computer could aid doctor in diagnosing — A computer that could aid the doctor in diagnosing a disease has been suggested by two scientists.… The machine would store codes for symptoms, diseases and their relationships. Then, in those cases which are particularly hard to diagnose, such as those already in the hospital, the machine would sort out all possible afflictions for the doctor’s consideration. Many doctors now believe that most of the errors in diagnosing result from omission rather than any other source. That is, the doctor sometimes simply overlooks a possibility. This machine could assure the doctor that every possibility will be dug out of the “metal brains” of the computer.

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