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Correspondence: Dr Chin Jing Jih, email@example.com
Information Technology (IT) has transformed the ways modern healthcare systems acquire, store, access and communicate medical information. These developments offer significant benefits to patients and healthcare providers, but they give rise to ethical and legal challenges in the protection of patient privacy and confidentiality. The traditional and humanistic concept of doctor-patient relationship is also under threat as IT is used to bypass the need for personal consultations. One effective approach to continue the use of IT in medicine while minimising its potential hazards is through legal reforms and setting public standards for accessibility and expression of patient autonomy. Ultimately, the role and limitations of IT as a tool to pursue the goals of medicine has to be carefully deliberated, clearly defined and judiciously delineated to ensure its effectiveness and safety.
Keywords: information technology, confidentiality, computer
Singapore Med J 2003; 44(3): 149-151