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Table of Contents    
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 587-588

Internet in neurosurgery

Department of Neurosurgery, Sparsh Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Date of Web Publication3-May-2016

Correspondence Address:
Pralaya Kishore Nayak
Sparsh Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0028-3886.181552

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How to cite this article:
Nayak PK. Internet in neurosurgery. Neurol India 2016;64:587-8

How to cite this URL:
Nayak PK. Internet in neurosurgery. Neurol India [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Oct 1];64:587-8. Available from: https://www.neurologyindia.com/text.asp?2016/64/3/587/181552


“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots” - Albert Einstein.

The information technology revolution is being described as the most important development in the history of humankind since the industrial revolution.[1] Internet has recently evolved as a versatile and influential repository of information including that pertaining to neurosurgery.[2] The workplace, evolving around computer-based technology, is creating a new environment of work for healthcare providers in areas such as as patient care and research. Internet allows us to transmit text and graphics data and is an ideal medium for sharing medical expertise.

The true birth of the Internet is dated from October 4, 1957, when Sputnik was launched.[3] The Internet is a very powerful tool and was designed to be unstoppable. India's internet user base grew over 17% in the first 6 months of this year to 354 million, according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India. Hence, the neurosurgeon can leverage all the powers of the internet to help in improving patient care.

Finding medical information was difficult in the earlier times when journals were the only resources. Several years ago, the National Library of Medicine placed MEDLINE online for free (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/). One can search by the author's name or any other key words. Although abstracts are available, full-text articles are not available at this site. Till date, starting from e-mail communication, telemedicine and WhatsApp, we have reached cloud technology to improve in the widespread and effective dissemination of health services.

If patients want to do a general search for information on health related problems, they can use Google or any of a number of search engines. The widespread availability of medical and scientific information on the internet has had a profound impact on the physician-patient relationship.[4] One of the biggest problems is that there is no quality control. Anyone can put medical information on a web server, and the information retrieved may be incorrect or out of date.

E-mail is one of the most common uses of the Internet. Fast and free, e-mail facilitates communication with colleagues and organizations, patients, and family members.[3] A randomized controlled trial showed that an e-mail discussion group had a positive effect on the health status in people with chronic back pain.[5] E-mail messages can replace a number of other methods of communication in medical practice, including sending authorizations and referral letters.

Specialties, which have used telemedicine for remote diagnosis and asynchronous communication, can now explore the enhanced possibilities of the Internet—for example, to provide “virtual outreach” consultations in areas with poor access to conventional services.[6]

WhatsApp messenger is a proprietary cross-platform instant messaging client for smart phones that operates under a subscription business model. It uses the internet to send text messages, images, video, and user location to other users using standard cellular mobile numbers.[7] It is often easier to view the computed tomography/magnetic resonance images, reports, and patients' neurological status immediately using this modality and one can also save time on making decisions and preparations regarding emergency surgery. Further, difficult and interesting cases can be shared, and opinion can be sought from different neurosurgeons sharing the same group, for better treatment of the patients.

Cloud, also known as 'on-demand computing,' is a kind of internet-based computing, where shared resources and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand. Cloud storage solutions provide users and enterprises with various capabilities to store and process their data in third-party data centers. Cloud resources are usually not only shared by multiple users but are also dynamically reallocated as per the demand.[7] In cloud technology, all the patients' information is uploaded on the internet with a unique user identification. The doctor as well as patients can have their own access to the data worldwide and at their convenience. Timely advise, treatment modification, and reviewing patients' history is possible at anytime and anywhere.

Interactions in the cyberspace will also help the doctors in India, especially those practicing in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas (and who, therefore, often feel isolated), to keep in touch with new developments.[1],[8],[9],[10] It can serve to save precious human life; help in imparting treatment in difficult and complicated cases by seeking expert opinion on the net; and overall, facilitate an exchange of ideas. The future of internet in neurosurgery is to tie together many different clinical services, imaging units, and hospitals, as well as administrative services, to save valuable time.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Kapur S. The internet: It's role in medicine and healthcare. J Indian Acad Clin Med 2001; 2:136.  Back to cited text no. 1
Ellamushi H, Narenthiran G, Kitchen ND. Is current information available useful for patients and their families? Ann R Coll Surg Engl 2001; 83:292-4.  Back to cited text no. 2
Shabot MM. Medicine on the internet. Proc (Bayl Univ Med Cent) 2001; 14:27-31.  Back to cited text no. 3
Podichetty VK, Booher J, Whitfield M, Biscup RS. Assessment of internet use and effects among healthcare professionals: A cross sectional survey. Postgrad Med J 2006; 82:274-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
Lorig KR, Laurent DD, Deyo RA, Marnell ME, Minor MA, Ritter PL. Can a Back Pain E-mail Discussion Group improve health status and lower health care costs: A randomized study. Arch Intern Med 2002; 162:792-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
Powell JA, Darvell M, Gray JA. The doctor, the patient and the world-wide web: How the internet is changing healthcare. J R Soc Med 2003; 96:74-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
Available from: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing/whatsApp. [Last accessed on 2015 Nov 20].  Back to cited text no. 7
Misra U K, Kalita J, Mishra S K, Yadav R K. Telemedicine in neurology: Underutilized potential. Neurol India 2005;53:27-31.  Back to cited text no. 8
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Ganapathy K. Distribution of neurologists and neurosurgeons in India and its relevance to the adoption of telemedicine. Neurol India 2015;63:142-54.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Kak V. Neurosciences Education: From 'Gurukul' to e-Learning. Neurol India 2015;63:298-9.  Back to cited text no. 10
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  


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