HEPAXPERT subject of Master Thesis at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria
The Master Thesis “Interpretation of hepatitis B serologic test results by the means of the expert system HEPAXPERT” by Teresa Angerer aimed to compare advantages and disadvantages of using the medical expert system HEPAXPERT (version 2016) versus using AKIM, the hospital information system of the University Hospital Vienna (UHV), to interpret diagnostic serologic parameters of hepatitis B infection of pregnant women. For that purpose, a retrospective data analysis has been undertaken, using the register of births of UHV’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology from 2012 to 2016. There were 144 diagnostic findings in AKIM from 96 women who tested positive for hepatitis B during their pregnancy in this time period. In 115 of these diagnostic findings, serologic markers have been documented that could be used for a reinvestigation with HEPAXPERT. The project showed that AKIM’s advantage is its ability to analyze relevant PCR test results and its access to patient history, which makes it able to take prior test results into account and offer cross-referenced statements or detect possible mix-ups of diagnostic findings. HEPAXPERT, on the other hand, needs no other information than the serologic markers to act as an interpretive tool. It offers textual interpretation of the input parameters and the possible clinical picture. Additionally, unlike AKIM, it presents information on infectiousness, prognosis, vaccination recommendation, and suggestions concerning further measures. HEPAXPERT doesn’t replace the final diagnosis from a doctor but its interpretations and valuable additional information aids patients and doctors in the diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic process.