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Br Med J. Sep 11, 1976; 2(6036): 623–625.
PMCID: PMC1688190

Computer interrogation of patients.


A system of routine interrogation of patients using a computer has been developed. It includes a visual display unit with a specially designed response keyboard, and the program has been designed to adapt to the individual patient. The system was evaluated objectively, using the criteria of accuracy in eliciting symptoms, acceptability to the patient, and cost. While doctors will always take the ultimate management decisions, it seems that machines can be programmed to undertake the routine interrogation of patients, elicit evidence accurately and acceptably, and calculate the probabilities of disease as effectively as doctors.

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Selected References

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  • Mayne JG, Weksel W, Sholtz PN. Toward automating the medical history. Mayo Clin Proc. 1968 Jan;43(1):1–25. [PubMed]
  • Marg E, Crossman ER, Goodeve PJ, Wakamatsu H. An automatic case-history taker for eye examination. Am J Optom Arch Am Acad Optom. 1972 Feb;49(2):105–112. [PubMed]
  • Yarnall SR, Samuelson P, Wakefield JS. Clinical evaluation of an automated screening history. Northwest Med. 1972 Mar;71(3):186–191. [PubMed]
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  • Slack WV, Slack CW. Patient-computer dialogue. N Engl J Med. 1972 Jun 15;286(24):1304–1309. [PubMed]
  • Slack WV, Van Cura LJ. Patient reaction to computer-based medical interviewing. Comput Biomed Res. 1968 May;1(5):527–531. [PubMed]
  • Jennett B, Teasdale G, Braakman R, Minderhoud J, Knill-Jones R. Predicting outcome in individual patients after severe head injury. Lancet. 1976 May 15;1(7968):1031–1034. [PubMed]

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