A computer scientist has attempted to program a textbook of British general practice (primary care) medicine, that is, Hodgkin K (1978) "Towards Earlier Diagnosis....", 4th Edition, Churchill Livingstone.
If a patient types presenting findings (such as headache, cough), the program prompts the user for expansion/denial of appropriate findings, in order to construct a list of patient findings. The program also calculates a list of likely diseases, which the user can use the web to find out more about.
The program has about 600 diseases and 1000 findings.
Keywords - disease, health, healthcare, illnesses.
- Patient mode - the user chooses findings - symptoms/signs - and the computer prompts for other appropriate findings and then provides a list of possible diseases.
- Student mode - the program constructs a "paper patient", and the user chooses questions to ask the computer and then suggests a list of possible diseases. The computer comments.
- Demonstration mode - the computer carries out both tasks (1) and (2), so that the user can simply watch the work up.
- Future work. More diseases need adding. The file med.pl needs reviewing or rewriting by a medical doctor. The program needs a much better user interface.
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