More than one-third of the 897 doctors surveyed by the University of Hong Kong said they processed patient registration, laboratory results and referral notes electronically. However, 70 per cent of doctors in solo or small group practices did not yet have such functions computerised, compared with only 30 per cent of their peers working in large medical groups. Dr Gabriel Leung, who conducted the study, said Hong Kong lagged behind many Western countries in computerising clinical practice. 'In Australia doctors are given public subsidies to computerise their clinics. In Canada, doctors submit claims for government medical expenses online,' he said. Dr Leung said some software was now available to help doctors make clinical judgments, but this was not yet popular in Hong Kong. One software item, updated every three months through the Internet, can be installed in computers and personal digital assistants and doctors can search for symptoms and documented cases about a particular illness during a consultation. Dr Leung said that using the software would not lead to what he termed 'code book' medicine.