Author: B. Barber
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
The HIB 79 Congress is the second one organized by the European Federation for l-iedical Informatics (EFMI). The host society is the "Deutsche Gesellschaft fur l-ledizinische Dokurnentation, Informatik und Statistik (GMDS) who are holding their 24th annual meeting at this time. The program of MIB 79 covers every aspect of the application of information science to medicine and public health, and as such respresents the state of the art. Medical Informatics (M. I. ) is now at a turning pOint. To date, despite the efforts made by specialists in many countries, the balance sheet of M. I. remains rather poor. One of the reasons for this situation is the fact that the computers of yesterday were the prerogative of an elite of users. They were expensive, difficult to use, remot. e from the users, and mainly in the hands of a sacerdotal caste of data processing speciali sts • In the future, data processing facilities will be cheap, easy to handle, and immediately accessible. Data processing will have a chance of becoming truly democratic thanks to two important and complementary trends in computer technology: 1. a network due to computer communication partnership; 2. miniaturization due to the dramatic expansion of micro-processor and computer technology. IV The combination of these two main hardware achievements for which some neologisms have been invented - "compunication" \ in the USA and "telEnnatique" in France - will lead to a completely new way of processing data which may be called "distributed informatics.