DOC IN A BOX

COMPUTERS AND OTHER WONDROUS MACHINES HAVE ALREADY CONQUERED THE WORLD OF BUSINESS. THEY ARE NOW TRANSFORMING MEDICINE AND HELPING SAVE PATIENTS' LIVES--AS WELL AS TIME AND MONEY

It doesn't look like much of a marvel. If anything, it appears to be just a bunch of ordinary personal computers, a couple of feet high, wired together and left running in a corner. But stored on disks in these machines is an extraordinary medical cornucopia: the details of thousands of heart attacks painstakingly etched into silicon over nearly 30 years. Each spasm, each chemical released into the bloodstream by a dying heart muscle, each patient's treatment, is registered in this giant multivariate database by doctors, nurses and researchers at Duke University. The heart of the Medical Center's Databank for Cardiovascular...

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