AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. March 2001, Volume 3, Number 3.

Perspectives

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Through the Patient's Eyes: The X Factor

A corporate executive diagnosed with prostate cancer chooses his own preferred course of treatment based on information he researched on the Internet.

Intel Corporation chairman Andrew Grove considers how the X Factor - the impact of information technology on business productivity - may affect medicine. In his 1998 piece for JAMA, Dr. Grove tells how, following his 1995 diagnosis of prostate cancer, he researched his illness on the Internet and decided the course of treatment he preferred. He foresaw that e-mail could end the telephone tag game between patients and their physicians and that physicians would soon create their own Web sites. "The potential benefits of the X Factor in medicine," Grove declared, are "tremendous for patients as well as for physicians."

Grove AS. The X Factor. [A Piece of My Mind]. JAMA. 1998;280:1294.

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