Journal article

Representation of Medical Guidelines with a Computer Interpretable Model

Nowadays medical software is tightly coupled with medical devices that perform patient state monitoring and lately even some basic treatment procedures. Medical guidelines (GLs) can be seen as specification of a medical system which requires their computer-interpretable representation of medical GLs. Until now most of the medical GLs are often represented in a textual format and therefore often suffer from such structural problems as incompleteness, inconsistencies, ambiguity and redundancy, which makes the translation process to the machine-interpretable language more complicated. Computer-based interpretation of GLs can improve the quality of protocols as well as the quality of medical service. Several GLs formal representation methods have been presented recently. Only some of them enable automatic formal verification by introducing an additional translation path to the existing model checking environments. However, if a verified property fails it is difficult to trace back the result needed to change the model. Moreover, these formalisms provide the notion of time mostly in terms of actions order. In this paper we preset the application of a well-know formal behaviour representation approach of embedded systems design domain to medical GLs interpretation. We use Timed Automata extended with Tasks (TAT) and TIMES toolbox to represent medical GLs as a system behaviour in a computer interpretable form. We discuss the verification issues with the help of the anticancer drug imatinib case study.


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