Development of a web based expert system for diagnosis and management of kidney disease

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  1. Background to the study

Kidney disease represents a major public health problem in developed and developing countries. According to Y. Gunnar and J. Allan(2013), It is estimated that approximately 5% of the adult population are affected by kidney disease. KD patients are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease which involves coronary heart disease. Renal or kidney failure is a world-wide health problem.

According to global research by the year 2011, chronic kidney disease will affect more than 36 million people around the world with a serious risk. Among nine seemingly healthy people, the research shown that one person has some symptoms of chronic kidney diseases (Shiba N, 2011).

Chronic renal failure is a severe and irreversible disorder of kidney function that prevents body from balancing fluids,electrolytes, and metabolism (Phipps WJ, 2003). The five importantcauses of increased global attention to chronic kidney disease include growing prevalence of the disease, thehidden actual outbreak, high cost, subsequent increaseof cardiovascular diseases, and increased efforts to findeffective solutions to prevent disease progression (Gao SW, 2008). Unfortunately,chronic renal failure is usually asymptomatic,and the exact number of patients is unclear. Currently, 1.5 million people around the world are under hemodialysisor kidney transplantation.

A long with the time, developed atechnology which is able to adopt the process and a way of thinking human. The development ofcomputerized device based on artificial intelligence human, in the end bring up one a new branch ofcomputer science, namely artificial intelligence.

One branch of artificial intelligence are expert system. According to Martin, 1998, expert system is a computer-based system that uses knowledge, facts and reasoning techniques in solving a problem thatusually can be solved by an expert in a particular field. Expert system is computer systems thatemulate the decision-making ability of a human expert(Naik, 2012). The purpose of expert system is not toreplace the human roles, but to presented humanknowledge in forms of a system, so it can be usedby many people. Expert systems are made in thearea of knowledge for a particular expertiseapproaching human capabilities in one specificfield. Expert systems and they have the tendency tobe developed to the direction of on one sidedirected also specialized knowledge (expertiseorientation) and on the other hand in the development of applications in specializedproblems problem – oriented) (Samy S. Abu Naser, 1 Abu Zaiter A. Ola,


Expertsystem is a branch of computer science that transfers the intelligence of human experts into machines (Tiwari and Mishra, 2011 and Pandit, 2013) and it is now a very prominent cross disciplinary area (Borgohain and Sanyal, 2012). The knowledge base of any medical system is often composed of medical information, rules extracted from patient inputs and advice for diagnosis of possible diseases of patients (Keleş, 014). With the advent of expert systems, a lot of intelligent systems have been developed to assist in handling health care challenges such as detecting, diagnosing symptoms and advice provisioning for diseases. The medical field is a very delicate area that requires appropriate medical facilities and adequate expertise for reliable and efficient delivery.

Technology is a very useful tool that aids every kind of process resulting in increase of efficiency and in turn productivity, automating some of the processes involved in attending to patients will help to reach a wide number of them at the same time from different locations which will be of immense benefit (Frost and Reich, 2009). Diagnoses and advice provisioning will be ineffective without the aid of automatic experts. The advancement in web technology and the innovations in wireless communication technology have also inspired researchers to focus on developing mobile systems which can improve on the stand-alone and web-based medical systems and make them accessible with greater functionality, especially in developing countries. The proliferation of mobile phones also in developing countries and the progress in their technological development (large memory capacities, spacious screens and open access operating systems) makes them powerful health care service delivery tool in that they reduce overall cost of accessing medical care and eliminate a lot of medical errors (Oladele and Y. Sanni, 2015). Aside this, mobile technology makes it possible for the accomplishment of big tasks within a relatively short period of time. The intelligent user interface is friendly and effective for easy user adaptation (Ramírez, Arellano, Sandoval and Flores, 2015 and Su, S.L. Hwang and C.T. Wu. 2006)).

This study designed a rule based web technology system to diagnose kidney diseases in Nigeria, provides medical advices and prescriptions where applicable. The proposed system is designed to act as a medical assistant which should be able to provide kidney medical diagnosis to common health conditions through user-inputs combined with their personal health record and hence generate medical advises to patients based on the results of their diagnosis. The system is expected to be useful in remote regions of Nigeria where there is little or no access to medical facilities to reduce mortality rates.

  1. Statement of problem

Health care facility should be accessible by all at all times.  But some of the people that should access these facilities are far removed from these facilities.  More so, in the few available facilities, qualified medical personnel are always key issues that need urgent redress. 

In view of the foregoing, it would be of great necessity to provide a computerized system that will provide a complementary medical service, such as medical disease diagnosis in places where accessibility is a problem as well as health care facilities where qualified experts are lacking, hence this topic, Expert System on kidney disease.

A primary function of kidneys is the removal of poisonous wastes from the blood. Chief among these wastes are the nitrogen-containing compounds urea and uric acid, which result from the breakdown of proteins and nucleic acids. Lifethreatening illnesses occur when too many

of these waste products accumulate in the bloodstream. There is need for early diagnosis of kidney disease, the diagnosis of kidney disease require expert skill which are in short supply, the need to reduce mortality and incidence rate by kidney disease and there is also need to improve the overall quality of health through early expert diagnosis of kidney disease.

  1. Aim and Objectives of the study

The main aim and objective of this project is to design and implement a web-based expert system for diagnosis and management of kidney diseases and also prescription of treatment. The knowledge acquired would be stored in the knowledge base and an inference engine would be designed to explore the knowledge base to diagnose the ailment. The specific objectives are:

  • To eliciting the knowledge of a human expert in kidney disease diagnosis and management.
  • To develop a knowledgebase where the expert knowledge in the area of kidney disease would be stored.
  • To codify the expert knowledge and encode it in the knowledge base.
  • To create an inference engine that will use case facts to interrogate the knowledge base in order to diagnose the ailment and make prescriptions.
  1. Overview of Methodology

The development model for this study is the waterfall model

Thus the following processes will be actualized:

The specifications shall be obtained using various knowledge acquisition techniques such as document analysis, observation, consultation and interviews.

  • The system design will be based on:
  • Architectural design: Block diagram
  • User interface module
  • Database design: MySQL
  1. Scope of the study

The scope of the project is limited to the diagnosis of kidney disease and requires users to supply answers to questions posed to them by the system. The scope of this work will include the following

  1. A dynamic database system that can act as a knowledge based system
    1. A complete model of an expert system to portray sample troubleshooter
    1. Explore the power of web-based technology in data handling
    1. To implement a dynamic search system
  1. Significance of Study

If this prototype is fully developed will be very useful in many areas such as:

  • It will help to retain the skill of an expert medical doctor in case of any eventuality;
  •  It can support academic development;
  • It can be useful in many hospitals, both private and government, cases where the expert is not on seat;
  • It can also be used in the laboratory for quick research work.
    • Limitation of the study

The major constraint faced during the implementation of this work was finance.  This is among other frustrations such as program failures during modular construction stages.  Time was another important factor that limited the extent to which I want to research.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Diagnose: The identifying of an illness or disorder in a patient through physical examination, medical tests, or other procedures

Medical:  Relating to medicine, physical examination to determine health: a physical examination by a doctor to check

Kidney:   The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine, below your ribs and behind your belly.

ChronicKidney Disease:   Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function.

Communicable:  A communicable disease that can be passed from one person.

Expert:  somebody with a great deal of knowledge, skill, training, or experience in a particular field or activity of a medical expert.

Knowledge-based:  Information system that store wealth of one’s knowledge

Symptoms:  Signs of an ill health

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