System is an organization of functionally interactive units for the achievement of a common goal. All systems have inputs, outputs, and feedback, and maintain a basic level of equilibrium. For example, in the human body the heart functions to support the circulatory system, which is vital to the survival of the entire body.
And, an expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain.
So, I can say an expert system is a set of interacting or interdependent entities forming an integrated whole. As we know, this concept of an integrated whole is well stated by Samuel Hahnemann in Homeopathy.
This is the nature of homeopathy (broadly speaking comparing and matching patient’s symptoms with homeopathic remedy’s symptoms) which made an early use of computers in this science in the later decades of 20th century.
Initially, computers were used to repertorise symptoms of a patient to get a group of indicated remedies. With advancement in technology, homeopathic softwares were gradually built for analyzing patient’s symptoms based on some strategy, logic, philosophy or principle.
I am highlighting expert systems of four homeopathic softwares available worldwide.
Following teachers have made their existence in these homeopathic softwares:
– George Vithoulkas
– Paul Herscu
– Jan Scholten
– Rajan Sankaran
– Massimo Mangialavori
– Parinaz Humranwala
– ML Sehgal
– Ajit Kulkarni
and more experts would be added in coming years.
These teachers highlighted their concepts at the various stages of repertorisation starting from case taking, analysis, synthesis, repertorisation to finally prescribing indicated homeopathic medicine.
1. Expert Systems in RADAR
A. Vithoulkas Expert System
The Vithoulkas Expert System (VES) was created in collaboration with world-renowned homeopath, George Vithoulkas. VES duplicates his unique thought process in symptom analysis and remedy sel ection, working with the Synthesis repertory in RADAR. VES uses all the principles and understanding that George uses himself and it does so every second the System is computing.
The Vithoulkas Expert System interprets a homeopath’s input to suggest which remedy questions should be asked, and it further orients their study of materia medica. VES then arrives at just one, possibly surprising, result. That result takes into account ALL the patient’s symptoms and is based on a consideration of ALL the remedies – whether they are the better known polychrests or a rare remedy which figures only once in a rubric.
“In fact, the system is so powerful that George Vithoulkas uses it himself. By employing this invaluable tool, his own success in prescribing has increased from the 80% – 85% level to an astounding 90% – 95%”, says creators of the program.
As a general rule, VES considers mind symptoms to be more important than local ones. But there are cases in which it may ignore such symptoms in favor of some prominent local keynotes. Many different principles and possibilities are used to decide when this particular decision is applied. You don’t have to pre-se lect particular symptoms before using the Expert System. The VES takes care of this itself by using ALL the symptoms and sele cting the most appropriate rubrics. Every time you add a new symptom, VES re-evaluates the whole case and gives you a full, completely new analysis.
B. Herscu Analysis Module
Developed in cooperation with Paul Herscu, ND, the Herscu Module assists case-taking through a system of messages and suggestions that orient the patient’s symptoms within a cycle of fundamental ideas. Based on Dr. Herscu’s profound system of Cycles and Segments, this add-on to RADAR helps you develop a profound understanding of your patients and Materia Medica.
Symptoms presented by a patient are oriented within a cycle of fundamental ideas or segments. Analyzing the segments leads to identifying the cycle that reveals the patient’s pathology. The Herscu Module helps you to organize the symptoms of your patients by developing a dynamic and systematic understanding of the remedies. The analysis function displays those remedies featured most prominently in all the fundamental ideas or segments, even if they are not well represented in the rubrics of your case. This allows the homeopathic practitioner to bypass many of the inherent limitations of the repertory by putting smaller remedies on an equal basis with polycrests.
2. Expert Systems in MacRepertory
The most dramatic way to improve your prescribing is by using family relationships – whether they be Hahnemann’s miasms, Scholten’s approach to the periodic table or taxonomy. The latest version of MacRepertory is the cutting edge of family analysis with more than 150 beautifully illustrated graphs right at your fingertips. There are new family graphs from Rajan Sankaran, Massimo Mangialavori, Jan Scholten and others: everything from the latest genetic plant mapping and Rajan’s most recent ideas of the periodic table to Massimo’s classification of the different responses to pain or his stages of development. And every window now supports your working more creatively with families; easily see only the sycotic, animal, or solanaceae remedies, etc.
When you need to understand the themes of a family, just double click discover more than 400 informational sub-graphs and pdfs: the sensations of Rajan’s plant families, the keys to Bentley’s miasms’, the themes of Massimo’s groups, Jan’s descriptions of the elements of the periodic table and much more. Many of them contain material that you simply won’t find anywhere else. And for when you need to know about the substance you’re prescribing we’ve included 1300 pdfs with interesting facts, descriptions and pictures of the sources of the remedies.
3. Expert System in ISIS – AKIVA
AKIVA may be the best tool you will ever find for helping with homeopathic remedies!
Containing an interactive question and answer for each of 64 conditions, AKIVA gently guides you to the most indicated remedies. The questions have been carefully prepared to provide a detailed and thorough homeopathic consultation. Homeopathy is the science and art of individualization. Now, with AKIVA, you have an advisor that helps you do this!
For each condition AKIVA provides basic medical information. You need to be certain when a condition is suitable for home prescribing and when you need the help of your health-care provider. Where appropriate, AKIVA also provides color photographs of conditions along with other support information, for example herbs that might help, nutritional supplements you should consider and even suggestions from folklore!
All recommendations given are for ‘single-remedies’ – which is the ideal form of homeopathic practice. No combination remedies are included – only the pure, single-substance remedies that give best results when indicated. What may have seemed difficult previously is now made easier with AKIVA!
AKIVA contains information for over 100 remedies. The information provided is clearly presented to be of relevance to situations you will encounter at home. Where appropriate full color photographs of remedies are included to help your knowledge and understanding grow.
AKIVA is fun and easy to use – combining a beautiful user interface with all the homeopathic knowledge you need in home and acute situations.
4. Expert Systems in Hompath
The team at HOMPATH is extremely pleased to announce the upcoming expert systems that will take your practice to the next higher level. With these Expert Systems, you will be able to easily apply the time-tested methods used by some of our Stalwarts in their practice.
A. Dr. Parinaz Humranwala’s Expert System:
A golden opportunity to successfully use Temperamental analysis while arriving at the Similimum! Based on the extensive research and clinical experience of Dr. Parinaz Humranwala, the details of individual Temperaments, their features, distinguishing characteristics given here make this Expert system an extremely beneficial and must-have tool for all Homeopaths.
B. Dr. Sehgal’s Expert System:
Sehgal’s School of Revolutionized Homeopathy has always strived to make Homeopathy Simple and Practical – here is the right tool which will assist you in doing so! Dr. Sehgal’s Expert system will help you to arrive at the Similimum following the basics of Sehgal’s method. Aiding you in intelligent use of rubrics of the Mind, this will definitely prove to be a Utility tool that will revolutionize your practice completely!
C. Dr. Ajit Kulkarni’s Expert System:
Imagine being able to treat a patient even when he does not communicate everything verbally to you – with the aid of Non-verbal communication! Indeed, gestures, postures, various movements and mannerisms say a lot even if there are no words spoken. This expert system will be of immense help in the clinical practice of every Homeopath and will help him in sele cting the right remedy and confirming it using the tool of non-verbal communication.
Well, these are some examples of great advancements in Homeopathy. In today’s scenario, this will prove an important aid towards ‘Evidence-based Medicine’.
While interacting with my students, I learned many things, and we feel that there is a need to develop some expert systems based on our great masters also.
Hahnemann’s Expert System should guide us to include causative symptoms and constitutions while considering the totality as mentioned in aphorism 7.
Boenninghausen’s Expert System should guide us to have complete symptoms with concomitants in our analysis.
Kent’s Expert System should guide us to built the chracteristic totality giving emphasis on General Symptoms.
Boger’s Expert System should guide us to weigh the symptoms in the life time of the patient and pathological generals, etc.
I am sure we all can work together to make our masters alive along with our present teachers in our computer systems. If Hahnemann were alive today, he would have found use of computers made this possible to evaluate a remedy for a case, and to find homeopathic remedies for an unusual presentation of a case from materia medicas, directly from provings, cured cases and compilations from different authors.
Dr. Anil Singhal, MD (Homeo)
Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, New Delhi.
Dr. B. R. Sur Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, New Delhi.
Bakson Homoeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Greater Noida.