Neuroscience on the Internet
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Electronic Journals and interactive discussion groups. The value of a network, it is often hypothesized, increases in proportion to the square of the number of people comprising it. The internet, with its logarithmic growth pattern, becomes a more significant repository of information and services by the day, as its usership multiplies. The implication for the medical community in general and particularly the neurosciences is that as the revolutionary communication technology spreads, new modalities of interaction will emerge to bring closer the scientific research community, medical care providers and the patients at large. The Neurological Society of India in 1997 was placed on the internet with its own homepage www.neurosocietyindia.org. Abstracts for the Annual Conference can be submitted electronically. Already, virtual medical conferences are taking place. The Skull Base Society of India during its first conference in New Delhi in Sept. 1998 had a live interactive operative surgery demonstration from Hanover, Germany.
The compact disc
This has already revolutionized the storage of data. Today text books of neurosurgery and neurology including the Indian text book of neurosurgery are available in a CD format. Electronic brain atlases depicting CT, MRI and hundreds of nuclei for functional neurosurgery are now available.
Indian neurosurgery is not in the Jurassic Park era. Many of these facilities are available or will soon be available in many centers. Ultimately of course, no tool is better than the hand which holds it. So Twenty First Century technology or not, it is the human brain which has the last word. No hardware, no software can ever substitute for the brainware which is the result of a hundred thousand years of biological evolution and a life time of personal evolution. However, we have to realize that the only thing that is constant in the universe is change and the sooner we accept this the better it is.