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A Multimodal approach for clinical diagnosis and treatment


Research group:

Publication Type:

Doctoral Thesis


Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden


A computer-aided Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) for diagnosis and treatment often plays a vital role and brings essential benefits for clinicians. Such a CDSS could function as an expert for a less experienced clinician or as a second option/opinion of an experienced clinician to their decision making task. Nevertheless, it has been a real challenge to design and develop such a functional system where accuracy of the system performance is an important issue. This research work focuses on development of intelligent CDSS based on a multimodal approach for diagnosis, classification and treatment in medical domains i.e. stress and post-operative pain management domains. Several Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques such as Case-Based Reasoning (CBR), textual Information Retrieval (IR), Rule-Based Reasoning (RBR), Fuzzy Logic and clustering approaches have been investigated in this thesis work. Patient’s data i.e. their stress and pain related information are collected from complex data sources for instance, finger temperature measurements through sensor signals, pain measurements using a Numerical Visual Analogue Scale (NVAS), patient’s information from text and multiple choice questionnaires. The proposed approach considers multimedia data management to be able to use them in CDSSs for both the domains. The functionalities and performance of the systems have been evaluated based on close collaboration with experts and clinicians of the domains. In stress management, 68 measurements from 46 subjects and 1572 patients’ cases out of ≈4000 in post-operative pain have been used to design, develop and validate the systems. In the stress management domain, besides the 68 measurement cases, three trainees and one senior clinician also have been involved in order to conduct the experimental work. The result from the evaluation shows that the system reaches a level of performance close to the expert and better than the senior and trainee clinicians. Thus, the proposed CDSS could be used as an expert for a less experienced clinician (i.e. trainee) or as a second option/opinion for an experienced clinician (i.e. senior) to their decision making process in stress management. In post-operative pain treatment, the CDSS retrieves and presents most similar cases (e.g. both rare and regular) with their outcomes to assist physicians. Moreover, an automatic approach is presented in order to identify rare cases and 18% of cases from the whole cases library i.e. 276 out of 1572 are identified as rare cases by the approach. Again, among the rare cases (i.e. 276), around 57.25% of the cases are classified as ‘unusually bad’ i.e. the average pain outcome value is greater or equal to 5 on the NVAS scale 0 to 10. Identification of rear cases is an important part of the PAIN OUT project and can be used to improve the quality of individual pain treatment.


author = {Mobyen Uddin Ahmed},
title = {A Multimodal approach for clinical diagnosis and treatment},
number = {113},
month = {November},
year = {2011},
school = {M{\"a}lardalen University, V{\"a}ster{\aa}s, Sweden},
url = {}