Medexter’s ArdenSuite Subject of Master Thesis

Medexter’s CEO and Scientific Director, Klaus-Peter Adlassnig, functioned as second supervisor for the master thesis on “Interoperability with a clinical decision support rule engine” by Martin Spineth, student at the University of Applied Sciences, Technikum Vienna, Austria. The Arden Syntax is a standard that defines a format for representing and executing clinical knowledge in clinical decision support (CDS) software. The goal of this thesis was to extend the application possibilities of the Arden Syntax by determining its compatibility with the following standards: OpenEHR, CDS Hooks, and the predictive model markup language PMML. The compatibility has been determined by, first, analyzing them for options for connection and, second, by trying to create a test connection. As a representation for a full Arden Syntax implementation Medexter’s ArdenSuite has been chosen. 
Open EHR is a standard for turning physical health data into an interoperable form. EHRScape and EHRServer represent openEHR data sources. The connection between these two health records and the ArdenSuite was tested successfully. Data from these sources can be queried, received, and used in an Arden Syntax program, deployed on the ArdenSuite server.
CDS Hooks is an interface specification for integrating CDS software into electronic health records. A possibility to implement the CDS Hooks interface into the ArdenSuite server was found, although only discussed theoretically since the specification was still under development.
A PMML-to-Arden-Syntax transformer was developed using a Java program that executes an extensible stylesheet language transformation. A decision tree model saved as a PMML file was translated into Arden Syntax but the transformer was missing a few functions that couldn’t be implemented with Arden Syntax. Some necessary manual adjustments solved the problem.
The conclusion of the thesis is that the Arden Syntax is a very open standard, which was successfully made interoperable with other standards.

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