This paper explores the premise that a formalized representation of empirical studies can play a central role in computer-based decision support. The specific motivations underlying this research include the following propositions: Reasoning from experimental evidence contained in the clinical literature is central to the decisions physicians make in patient care. A computational model, based upon a declarative representation for published reports of clinical studies, can drive a computer program that selectively tailors knowledge of the clinical literature as it is applied to a particular case. The development of such a computational model is an important first step toward filling a void in computer-based decision support systems. Furthermore, the model may help us better understand the general principles of reasoning from experimental evidence both in medicine and other domains. Roundsman is a developmental computer system which draws upon structured representations of the clinical literature in order to critique plans for the management of primary breast cancer. Roundsman is able to produce patient-specific analyses of breast cancer management options based on the 24 clinical studies currently encoded in its knowledge base. The Roundsman system is a first step in exploring how the computer can help to bring a critical analysis of the relevant literature to the physician, structured around a particular patient and treatment decision.
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View details for PubMedID 3297479