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Medicine and the Internet. Don Nelson and Gordon Baustian. Overview. What is the Internet? How did it come about? What can it do for physicians? How can I get connected? Prospects for the future. What is the Internet?. udp:. gopher:.

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Medicine and the internet

Medicine and the Internet

Don Nelson and Gordon Baustian


  • What is the Internet?

  • How did it come about?

  • What can it do for physicians?

  • How can I get connected?

  • Prospects for the future

What is the internet
What is the Internet?



  • A loosely organized, but effective, network of computers and smaller networks

  • A set of rules (protocols) for computers to make connections to other computers and to request and transfer information







How we got the internet
How we got the Internet

  • Department of Defense support for computing research

  • (Defense) Advanced Research Projects Agency: ARPANET (1969)

  • Share expensive experimental computers ($$$) among researchers

How we got the internet1
How we got the Internet

  • The Cold War

  • Need for “disaster-proof”network

  • Decentralized

  • Reconfigure itself

  • Work around outages


  • Hosts / Servers

    • Systems that supply information

    • More-or-less permanent connection to the Net

  • Clients

    • Systems that request information

    • May be intermittently connected

  • One system may play both roles

How it grew
How it grew!!

  • The PC revolution -- Cheap computers!

  • Millions of users

  • Hypertext

  • The World Wide Web (WWW)


  • Ability to embed references to other documents

  • References “Links” are active

  • Move from one item to another by selecting a link


  • This is ordinary text from a Web Page

  • This is hypertext


  • HTML Hypertext Markup Language

    • Create documents with links to other documents

  • HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol

    • Send HTML documents from one computer to another

  • One resource can “contain” others anywhere

  • Hence “World Wide Web”

What is a url
What is a URL?

  • Uniform Resource Locator

  • An address to any item on the Internet

The itemrequested

Name of host computer

Protocol to use

What do i need
What do I need?

  • Computer

  • Modem or other connection

  • Software -- Browser

    • Netscape Navigator

    • Microsoft Internet Explorer

  • Internet provider

    • Compuserve, America Online

    • Physicians Online

    • Local provider: CR Library, etc.

What lies ahead
What Lies Ahead?

  • Patient education on line

  • Secure transactions

  • Access to medical records?

  • Patients schedule own appointments?

Where to get more information
Where to get more information

  • Mercy Library classes

  • Local user groups

  • Computer store classes

  • Books: Hutchinson: A Pocket Guide to the Medical Internet

  • Surf yourself