Clinical trials collect large amounts of data over time. The use of statistical methods ods to compare and interpret these serial data often fall short of complete evaluation because the analysis requires clinical judgement. As an alternative, some trials use individual experts or panels of experts to evaluate data, but this method usually requires the participation of clinicians who must spend large amounts of time performing tedious, repetitive tasks. The authors examined the use of expert systems to analyze serial clinical trial data where the analyses required use of clinical judgement. A prototype expert system was built to assess the data obtained from a pair of serial graded exercise ECG tests and reach a decision that would duplicate the decision reached by a cardiologist. The experiment was succesful. Expert systems should be further developed and tested in other areas, such as serial coronary arteriography data.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The work of J.R. Slagle and M.R. Wick was partially supported by NSF Grant DCR8512857 and by the Microelectronics and InformationS ciences Center of the University of Minnesota.
- Expert systems
- clinical judgement
- clinical trials
- data analysis