Using experts feedback in clinical case resolution and arbitration as accuracy diagnosis methodology

Comput Biol Med. 2013 Sep;43(8):975-86. doi: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2013.05.003. Epub 2013 May 14.


This paper proposes a new methodology for assessing the efficiency of medical diagnostic systems and clinical decision support systems by using the feedback/opinions of medical experts. The methodology behind this work is based on a comparison between the expert feedback that has helped solve different clinical cases and the expert system that has evaluated these same cases. Once the results are returned, an arbitration process is carried out in order to ensure the correctness of the results provided by both methods. Once this process has been completed, the results are analyzed using Precision, Recall, Accuracy, Specificity and Matthews Correlation Coefficient (MCC) (PRAS-M) metrics. When the methodology is applied, the results obtained from a real diagnostic system allow researchers to establish the accuracy of the system based on objective facts. The methodology returns enough information to analyze the system's behavior for each disease in the knowledge base or across the entire knowledge base. It also returns data on the efficiency of the different assessors involved in the evaluation process, analyzing their behavior in the diagnostic process. The proposed work facilitates the evaluation of medical diagnostic systems, having a reliable process based on objective facts. The methodology presented in this research makes it possible to identify the main characteristics that define a medical diagnostic system and their values, allowing for system improvement. A good example of the results provided by the application of the methodology is shown in this paper. A diagnosis system was evaluated by means of this methodology, yielding positive results (statistically significant) when comparing the system with the assessors that participated in the evaluation process of the system through metrics such as recall (+27.54%) and MCC (+32.19%). These results demonstrate the real applicability of the methodology used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Feedback*
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Physicians*
  • Program Evaluation / methods*