By Jane Clabby
Isabel is a tool to assist physicians in making patient diagnoses
Today I came across a company called Isabel Healthcare that claims to do the same sort of healthcare diagnosis that Watson does. Named after “Isabel”, a young girl who almost died after being misdiagnosed at a local hospital, the company’s goal is to improve the quality and speed of diagnoses, reducing risk for both patients and doctors. According to the company website Isabel will “enhance physician’s cognitive skills and thereby improve patient safety and the quality of patient care”. Isabel Healthcare (founded in 2001) is based in the UK with offices in both the US and Australia.
Isabel is a web based diagnosis checklist system. Age and gender are entered—as well as patient symptoms by free text or taken directly from an electronic medical record— and Isabel returns a list of possible diagnoses. Along with the diagnosis, Isabel suggests medications that may be the cause of symptoms. Isabel also provides links to relevant information drawn from textbooks, medical journals and websites. Isabel can be customized to include institutional knowledge resources, protocols and guidelines.
Isabel’s engine (like Watson) is based on statistical natural language processing software, and works with a database of information that has been collected from medical textbooks, journals and articles collected over a 10 year period. Working with advanced pattern-matching techniques and proprietary algorithms, information in the database is correlated and analyzed to provide extremely accurate and relevant results.
Isabel Healthcare lists several customer use cases on their website. Lakewood Family Medicine in Holland,Michigan has used Isabel “to solve several tricky patient cases.” By using Isabel in two separate cases, a patient condition originally misdiagnosed was correctly identified as Lyme disease using the Isabel tool. Isabel has also been used at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science to help students learn the diagnostic reasoning process, and at the MacNeal Hospital in Cooke County, Illinois in their teaching hospital as an innovative diagnostic resource, and as a way to facilitate discussions around cases that have been misdiagnosed.
Has anyone had any experience with Isabel? Do you have any success stories or use cases to share?