World Wide Web and Internet: applications for radiologists
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Global exchange of information is one of the major sources of scientific progress in medicine. For management of the rapidly growing body of medical information, computers and their applications have become an indispensable scientific tool. Approximately 36 million computer users are part of a worldwide network called the Internet or “information highway” and have created a new infrastructure to promote rapid and efficient access to medical, and thus also to radiological, information. With the establishment of the World Wide Web (WWW) by a consortium of computer users who used a standardized, nonproprietary syntax termed HyperText Markup Language (HTML) for composing documents, it has become possible to provide interactive multimedia presentations to a wide audience. The extensive use of images in radiology makes education, worldwide consultation (review) and scientific presentation via the Internet a major beneficiary of this technical development. This is possible, since both information (text) as well as medical images can be transported via the Internet. Presently, the Internet offers an extensive database for radiologists. Since many radiologists and physicians have to be considered “Internet novices” and, hence, cannot yet avail themselves of the broad spectrum of the Internet, the aim of this article is to present a general introduction to the WWW/Internet and its applications for radiologists. All Internet sites mentioned in this article can be found at the following Internet address: http://www.univie.ac.at/radio/radio.html (Department of Radiology, University of Vienna)
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