Framework for modelling and reuse of medical knowledge in South Africa
In today's medical world, there is large amount of information and knowledge about patients and diseases that have been collected while providing healthcare. This information includes patient's medical history, diseases, and diagnosis and treatment methods. However, the problem of making this medical knowledge and data sharable among medical practitioners and reusable over applications and for several purposes is a serious challenge. Though different computer technologies have emerged as leverage in the medical industries, most health institutions are yet to effectively utilize them to manage patients' information and medical knowledge for fast decision making. In South Africa (SA), there is a rapid development of medical institutions and services, which require effective exchange of patient's medical histories and information. But information exchange among medical information systems is difficult and it can sometimes go against medical ethics of privacy and confidentiality. In this dissertation, we developed a framework for medical knowledge-based system to be used by physicians in order to make fast diagnostic decision and share information among the practitioners. The system is a web-based application making use of a central database which links hospitals in three provinces (Limpopo, Gauteng and North West) in South Africa. The advantage of this system is its ability to solve the challenges faced by healthcare practitioners in identifying common ground where relevant medical information can be utilized on a real time basis.