Computers in Oncology

Computers in Oncological Case Records
  • Barry Barber


There is hardly a field of activity which has been unaffected by the development of digital computers during the last three decades. Such devices can carry out a sequence of logical instructions at high speed and can store vast quantities of information in a readily accessible form. Since the sequence of instructions, or program, can be held in store with the data it is possible to manipulate the data logically at the speed of electronic circuitry without the loss of time involved in human intervention and decision making. In general, the computer’s internal instructions relate to some action to be taken in relation to one or more items of data at specified positions in the computer store. The computer’s central processing unit is informed of the position of the first instruction in the program and it then follows the instructions sequentially until told to stop. Since the computer’s internal instruction code can be difficult to learn to use efficiently, it is usual to simplify the programming by giving the computer instructions in a stylized language which can later be translated into machine code for internal use. Computer systems are described in terms of the size of their immediate access store, the speed with which information may be read from store, the variety of special instructions available to manipulate the information in store, the variety of equipment attached to the computer, and the languages that can be used for giving instructions to it. The cost of providing specified computing facilities is one of the few things that has consistently decreased.


Computing Facility London Hospital Computer Store Computer Instruction Visual Display Terminal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Barber
    • 1
  1. 1.North East Thames Regional Health AuthorityLondon, ThamesEngland

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