The concept of expert medical systems has changed over several decades from that of a system that would replace human decision making with machines modeled on the behavior of experts to that of software systems that provide information and support to human decision makers. Expert medical systems are computer systems that facilitate the work of clinical decision makers, increasing their efficiency and accuracy while remaining responsive to changes in knowledge and flexible in response to clinical needs. Despite progress in design, recent systems still experience failure more often than is acceptable, and performance is sub-optimal in many cases.

It was easy, in the rush to capitalize on the ability to store information in computers, to design what some considered expert medical systems without first gaining a ...

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