Computing technology has made rapid strides in the last decade. There seems to be no respite from the continuing advancement of this technology, which from time to time has left many of us wonder struck.

The medical field globally has been somewhat slow in adapting to the full benefits of computerization. This has resulted in our dependence on others to guide and help us not only to get a grasp of the subject but also to help us in taking important decisions to put this technology to our best use. Very often, the so called "Computer Pundits" themselves haven't the faintest clue of our field and are often found groping in the dark. Many a times the situation has not been any different from "the blind leading the blind". These situations have left a lot of loopholes and gaps in the overall development of medical computing. Many medical institutions in the West have already spent millions of dollars, only to later realize that the programmers are not suitable for their use. A similar scenario of haphazard development of medical application of computers is now unfolding in our country.

In the last two years "Internet" has made communication cheap, reliable and easy. Numerous medical web-sites keep sprouting up everyday. It is now possible to attend one of the Internet Grand-Rounds at hospitals in USA or England. Tele-medicine is only round the corner and the advent of this is going to entirely change the way we practice medicine. It is not far when a patient in Chennai is likely to have his general practitioner in Bombay or London, or a specialist in Australia may help a surgeon in Aurangabad to perform a difficult surgery.

Today, there seems to be a perceptible lack of a common platform of doctors from various specialties who can discuss something they have in common. This obviously is due to rapid advancement in different fields of medicine and specialization. Application of Computers in medicine has a common thread as it interests and fascinates most of us. Hence it was felt that a new society should be floated and common goals chalked out.

Dr. Sunil Shroff, MS FRCS

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