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Last Updated: Friday, 5 January 2007, 10:06 GMT
Computers
The British Medical Journal is launching a competition to decided the greatest medical breakthrough.

Present-day medical experts are championing discoveries from the last 166 years.

Professor Alejandro Jadad and Professor Murray Enkin, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, University of Toronto are supporting computers.

Computers developed rapidly in the second half of the 20th century.

ENIAC - an early US computer from the 1940s
ENIAC was an early US computer developed in the 1940s

They were used to decode the human genome, to gain detailed images from within the body and to track and control diseases remotely.

But by the end of the century, electronic patient records are not widespread and few health professionals used email or even the phone in consultations.

Professor Jadad and Professor Enkin say computers could and should be used much more widely to aid health treatment and research across the world.

They say computers will allow humans to "transcend our limits" become part of a "global thinking network", and that computers and humans will interact in one large superorganism.

Jadad and Enkin suggest the development of wireless networks, mobile devices and the internet will start to allow such a development.

"Computer technology can help us achieve optimal levels of health and well-being, regardless of who we are or where we are."






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