Rules engine applied to sanitary systems

Mario Blanco

Though it maybe sounds like something strange or unknown, the rule systems are present in our day-to-day. They could be defined as a group of conditions who trigger actions. In its most basic form, each condition or rule can be read as a statement “if… then…”. The advantage that a rule system brings over nested conditions is a dynamic, adaptive and intelligent behavior. The rule systems were used in lots of investigation areas, one of those areas is the health.

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There is one kind of rule systems known as expert systems, one type of expert system is a recommendation expert systems. These recommendation expert systems are rules systems that have a method to answer questions based on its own knowledge base. The first satisfactory tests using expert systems happened 40 years ago, in the early 1970 with MYCIN and CASNET, the first specialized in the diagnostic of infectious diseases of the blood and the second specialized in the description of the disease processes. Despite the early success, these systems and other versions were not used in the hospitals for a set of handicaps.

The advancement in technology and the research in the AI field have enabled the rule systems to evolve in a way that each day they are closer to people. Some of the challenges that had and have to face these systems to become useful are the lack of standard integration, poor knowledge of the domain, excessive focus on a single problem, low flexibility, no introspection, limited learning and little or even no reasoning of the time and location concept. However, we shouldn’t only overcome technological challenges, we also have to take into consideration the human-computer interaction so we can get adequate benefits. It wouldn’t be useful to have an excellent recommendation system for prescription or diagnostic if nobody wants to use it.


Gradiant is working in the improvement of this field with the objective of a better security and comfort for the patients, and to make possible for the medical personnel to work more agile with the support of the computer systems. Also, Gradiant is focusing this technology to generate intelligent alerts that can warn the personnel that a patient has not rested overnight, or that another patient had fever during a given time interval, or even that the patient has fallen in the bathroom and needs urgent assistance.