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Austria    DELT/A
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Document Exploration and Linking Tool / Add-ons

developed by keywords
Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Vienna University of Technology (part of EU IST Protocure II project) Knowledge representation, knowledge acquisition, validation, verification, maintenance, computerised clinical guidelines, XML, Asbru
status Download details
Under continued development. Current version available for research and evaluation purposes.

 bullet  DELT/A introduction, documentation and download

DELT/A is designed to support structured knowledge acquisition of clinical guidelines in their original (HTML) textual format through an intermediate and a semi-formal XML representation to a formal representation in the Asbru guideline representation language.

DELT/A is an enhancement of the GMT (Guideline Modelling Tool), also developed by the Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Vienna University of Technology.

  • DELT/A supports exploration: browsing, visualizing and editing any XML document. In this way, it supports XML representations of files written in Asbru or other representation language.
  • It links a computerized application with its original source guideline and shows the user, for example, which parts of the Asbru code for a guideline correspond to which elements of the original HTML text. This not only makes it easier to author plans, but also to understand the resulting Asbru constructs in terms of the original guideline.
  • DELT/A provides add-ons - advanced XML features (not generally implemented in other XML editors) to support work on semi-formal and formal computerised representations of guidelines. These add-ons are accessible via the DELT/A macro editor and include:
    • Filter (based on XPath) which allows specific XML nodes (e.g. Asbru plans) to be shown while hiding all others.
    • Highlighting (based on XPath) which allows specific XML nodes to be highlighted. This feature also allows the user to 'jump' to the next or previous highlighted XML node.
    • Folding (based on XPath) which allows the user to expand or collapse specific XML elements.
    • Transformation (based on XSLT scripts) which can be used for example to generate a HTML report of the current XML document.

Note: DELT/A constitutes an enhancement of the GMT, Guideline Markup Tool, which it replaces and which is no longer supported. Papers on the GMT remain relevant however for describing DELT/A so are included below.

Votruba P, Miksch S, Seyfang A, Kosara R. Tracing the formalization steps of textual guidelines. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2004;101:172-6.

[PubMed]   [Vienna]

" This paper presents a new guideline authoring tool, called Guideline Markup Tool (GMT). It proposes two useful features, which are missing in existing tools. First, it facilitates the translation of a free-text guideline into a formal representation, providing special XML macros. Second, it can be used to create links between the original guideline and its formal representation. Therefore, the GMT eases the implementation of clinical guidelines in a formal representation, which can be used in monitoring and therapy planning systems. "

Votruba P, Miksch S, Kosara R. Facilitating knowledge maintenance of clinical guidelines and protocols. Medinfo. 2004;2004:57-61.

[PubMed]   []

" Clinical protocols and guidelines are widely used in the medical domain to improve disease management techniques. Different software systems are in development to support the de-sign and the execution of such guidelines. The bottleneck in the guideline software developing process is the transforma-tion of the text-based clinical guidelines into a formal repre-sentation, which can be used by the execution software. This paper introduces a method and a tool that was designed to provide a solution for that bottleneck. The so-called Guideline Markup Tool (GMT) facilitates the translation of guidelines into a formal representation written in XML. This tool enables the protocol designer to create links between the original guideline and its formal representation and ease the editing of guidelines applying design patterns in the form of macros. The usefulness of our approach is illustrated using GMT to edit Asbru protocols. We performed a usability study with eight participants to examine the usefulness of the GMT and of the Asbru macros, which showed that the proposed approach is very appropriate to author and maintain clinical guidelines. "
contact links
Andreas Seyfang


Silvia Miksch

Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems
Vienna University of Technology
Favoritenstrasse 9-11/188
A-1040 Vienna

 bullet  Further information on the GMT by Peter Votruba  bullet  ASGAARD project (Asbru)  bullet  Asbru [OC]  bullet  Protocure project [OC]
Andreas Seyfang and Silvia Miksch, Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, Vienna University of Technology
Entry on OpenClinical: 15 May 2005
Last main update: 19 May 2005
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