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Volume 10, Number 1—January 2004

Evaluating Detection and Diagnostic Decision Support Systems for Bioterrorism Response

Dena M. Bravata*†Comments to Author , Vandana Sundaram*†‡, Kathryn M. McDonald*†, Wendy M. Smith*†, Herbert Szeto*†§, Mark D. Schleinitz¶#, and Douglas K. Owens*†‡
Author affiliations: *University of California San Francisco-Stanford Evidence-based Practice Center, Stanford, California, USA; †Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA; ‡VA Palo Alto Healthcare System, Palo Alto, California, USA; §Kaiser Permanente, Redwood City, California, USA; ¶Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, USA; #Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Main Article

Table 1

Summary of evaluation data for detection systems and diagnostic decision support systems for a bioterrorism response

Evaluation criteria Detection systems evaluated
% (yes/total) Diagnostic decision support systems evaluated
% (yes/total)
Is the timeliness of diagnostic information described? 36 (20/55) 48 (11/23)
Are diagnostic sensitivity and specificity described? 1.8 (1/55) 13 (3/23)
Is the reference standard against which the system was compared described? 7 (4/55) 39 (9/23)
Are the system’s security measures described? 0 0
Is the evaluation of the system over a range of clinical situations or patient populations described? 0 0
Is the portability of the system described? 54 (15/28) NAa
Is the system’s ability to run more than one sample at a time described? 10 (4/41) NA
Is the system’s ability to detect more than one bioterrorism agent described? 32 (12/37) NA
Is the system’s ability to detect either/both toxins and organisms described? 5 (2/37) NA
Is the inclusion of all bioterrorism agents and associated illnesses in the system’s knowledge base described? NA 26 (5/19)
Is the flexibility to update the probability of bioterrorism-related illness as the epidemic progresses described? NA 0
Is the method of reasoning used by inference engine described? NA 26 (5/19)
Is the use of standard vocabulary described? NA 0

aNA; not applicable.

Main Article

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