ESTHER — expert system for the diagnostics of acute drug poisonings
In recent years, there were a lot of cases of acute drug intoxications in Russia, and there exists a lack of qualified specialists capable of correct intoxication diagnosing. That is why this research was aimed at developing an expert system for diagnostics of poisonings caused by overdose or misuse of widespread medicines. Such medicines are available in every family and it is very easy to exceed the critical dosage that may lead to a fatal issue. According to some estimates nearly a half of all poisonings are provoked by improper use of medicines.
This paper presents main concepts of an Expert System for Toxicological Help (ESTHER). The most widespread medicines were combined into 25 groups according to the similarity in poisonings diagnostics and treatment. More than 60 clinical signs used by an expert in diagnostics of intoxications were included. The system was deliberately designed to use only clinical signs of poisonings with the view of using it in ambulance cars and hospitals of smaIl towns where accurate laboratory analyses are not available.
The system imitates reasoning of a physician — an expert in toxicology. The ideas of method for knowledge base construction are presented. The architecture of the expert system is discussed in detail as weIl.
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