DXplain is a decision support system
which acts on a set of clinical findings (signs,
symptoms, laboratory data) to produce a ranked
list of diagnoses which might explain (or be
associated with) the clinical manifestations.
DXplain provides justification for why each of
these diseases might be considered, suggests what
further clinical information would be useful to
collect for each disease, and lists what clinical
manifestations, if any, would be unusual or
atypical for each of the specific diseases.
DXplain does not offer definitive medical
consultation and should not be used as a
substitute for physician diagnostic decision
DXplain takes advantage of a large data base of
the crude probabilities of over 4500 clinical
manifestations associated with over 2000 different
diseases. The system uses a modified form of
Bayesian logic. It was developed at the
Massachusetts General Hospital over ten years ago
and has been used by thousands of users since
then, both as a stand-alone version and over the
Internet. The database and the system is
continually being improved and adapted as a result
of comments from the users. DXplain is in routine
use at a number of hospitals and medical schools
mostly for clinical education but also for
DXplain has the characteristics of both an
electronic medical textbook and a medical
reference system. In the role of a medical
textbook, DXplain can provide a comprehensive
description of over 2,000 different diseases,
emphasizing the signs and symptoms that occur in
each disease, the etiology, the pathology, and the
prognosis. DXplain also provides up to 10 recent
references that have been selected as being
appropriate reference material for each specific
disease. In addition, DXplain can provide a list
of diseases which should be considered for any one
of over 5,000 different clinical manifestations
(signs, symptoms, and laboraory examinations).
is owned by Massachusetts General Hospital.
A web-enabled version of DXplain, providing unlimited Internet access
for a modest royalty is now available
to medical schools and hospitals.
Mass Gen Hosp can be contacted for
information about the license. The standalone version of the software is no longer distributed.