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Octo Barnett papers 1962-2005
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Biography

Biographical Note

Barnett was Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Senior Research Director, Laboratory of Computer Science Massachusetts General Hospital. He was a cardiologist that went into medical informatics. Founder and former Senior Scientific Director of the Laboratory of Computer Science (LCS) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and was recognised world-wide as one of the founding fathers of Medical Informatics who pioneered the use of computers in patient care. In 1964, Dr. Barnett was recruited by MGH to head the Hospital Computer Project, an ambitious plan to implement a large hospital information system. From this project, the Laboratory of Computer Science was born. Although he described himself humbly as "just a country doctor," Dr. Barnett altered the course of the practice of medicine when he suggested, in the 1950s, "We ought to try using time sharing computer systems to improve medical care." He was co-developer of COSTAR, one of the nation’s first computerized electronic health records, and of DXplain, one of the best known, widely used diagnostic decision support systems.

The programming language known as Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System (MUMPS), which remains in widespread use today as the foundation of numerous clinical systems, was invented in LCS under his leadership.

Barnett died June 30, 2020 [https://digitalhealth.org.au/blog/loss-of-a-pioneer-in-medical-informatics-dr-octo-barnett/]