Medical Expert Systems: Knowledge Tools for Physicians

Reference: Shortliffe, E. H. Medical Expert Systems: Knowledge Tools for Physicians. September, 1986.

Abstract: Recent advances in the field of artificial intelligence have led to the emergence of expert systems, computational tools designed to capture and make available the knowledge of experts in a field. Although much of the underlying technology available today is derived from basic research on biomedical advice systems during the 1970's, medical application packages are thus far generally unavailable from the young artificial intelligence industry. Medical expert systems will begin to appear, however, as researchers in medical artificial intelligence continue to make progress in key areas such as knowledge acquisition, model-based reasoning, and system integration for clinical environments. It is accordingly important for physicians to understand the current state of such research and the theoretical and logistical barriers that remain before useful systems can be made available. One experimental system, ONCOCIN, provides a glimpse of the kinds of knowledge-based tools that will someday be available to physicians.

Notes: Working Paper 24 pages.

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