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Examination of the use of digital computers in hospitals, especially for X-ray treatment of cancer, control of patients' files, and analysis of blood serum samples.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: TM221, The digital computer
Item code: TM221; 01
First transmission date: 08-02-1975
Published: 1975
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:30
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Producer: Ted Smith
Contributors: John Sparkes; Brian Gadnes; Anthony Bradshaw; P Wilding
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Blood sample analysis; Digital computing; Patient files; Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre, Birmingham; Radiation dose; X-ray cancer treatment
Footage description: John Sparkes briefly states the aims of this introductory programme. Sparkes introduces the first computer problem which involves the X-ray treatment of cancer. He uses a modern X-ray set to demonstrate the operation of the machine during treatment. He explains how X-ray beams can be measured by means of contours, which he illustrates on a chart. He describes the improvements in these calculations which computers have made possible. Brian Gaines explains how data is prepared for the computer being used in X-ray treatment of cancer. He demonstrates the use of graphs and numerical data in a typical treatment planning process, and the conversion of this data to punched cards suitable for computer input. Shots of Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre's Univac computer. Gaines feeds the punched cards into the computer and takes the output from the line printer. He then examines these results in detail. Sparkes interviews Dr. Bradshaw, hospital physicist at Queen Elizabeth's Medical Centre in Birmingham. Bradshaw details the advantage to be gained from using a computer in treatment planning. Shots of one of the Centre's visual display units, which are used in the storage and control of patients' files. Gaines explains how data is fed into the computer from a V.D.U. He shows how the computer validates the information it receives. Sparkes interviews Stan Sargent, systems manager at the Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre. He explains how the hospital staff can use the V.D.U.'s with very little training. Dr. Peter Wilding, the hospital's consultant biochemist, explains the operation of an automatic analyser in the analysis of blood serum. He shows how the auto-analyser produces results in a form that a mini-computer can handle. Gaines then shows how the results of the serum analysis are fed into the computer and interpreted by it. He explains the advantages the computer provides in the whole process of blood serum analysis. Sparkes interviews Wilding about other, more sophisticated, uses Queen Elizabeth Medical Centre makes of the computer. He describes the process whereby the computer summarises the whole day's results at the Centre, and the operation of extracting abnormal or important results. He also briefly describes research being undertaken at the hospital into computer use in making diagnoses.
Master spool number: 6HT/71531
Production number: 00525_5161
Videofinder number: 1459
Available to public: no