Medisis motivation



A lot can said about doctors and diagnosis. In the past 7 years, I have read about people who accept and people who fight against what is said in terms of there health. I believe there is a word associated with some of these, Survivor. Given that I have seen what is done to some patients in terms of assault and insult, can't say that I blame them for fighting. This being said, the professionals who have to help people, who 50% of the time could get themselves killed in the real world have a very difficult job to do. The reading below describes my reasoning for writing this application...

Math and medicine

Not going to lie about this. The very first time I looked at the DSM-VI-TR document. I was horrified. Here people were talking about axis or dimensions and there whole understanding of these ideas were totally wrong. That was initial point of interest. I could not fathom how people could understand the idea that was so wrongly communicated. Not going to get into it but for the interested parties in Euclidean n-space math go here Anyway started looking at this monster that should be used for information and not diagnosis by clinically trained staff. The second thing I noted that there was roughly 365 types identified diagnosis in this document and that is pretty much if all goes well, if a professional is faced with a border line case things can quickly get very tricky. I believe the DSM-IV from 1994 (older one) has got something like 886 pages, so if that document lists 2000 symptoms, there is probably more there is a chance of 2000! combinations of these symptoms. Pretty big number.

Thing is in S.A. professionals deal with roughly 30 patients at a time, sometimes more. This fact and the huge number of symptoms that need to be identified make there lives very difficult. I have a bit of science background and have solved problems that are far less complex than this and it isn't easy. To make numerical observations and use this information to derive a working theory, one that covers all information is very tricky. Doctors are currently doing this without numbers so a lot of the time a patient will have had three or four different opinions on there condition. I'm not sure if this is a clinical symptom but in my experience people tend to get pissed if they hear different stories on one topic over a time frame, combine this with current law and how most patients are admitted and you have a very dangerous situation. People get angry.

Diagnostic tests

I suppose there is a lot to say about numbers, most people worry about the number associated with there bank account, most banks worry about this as well, then of course if you meet a pretty girl a whole different set of numbers come into play. The reason I mention this is because of diagnostic tests.

Modern psychiatry as a field isn't that old, yes yes the Greeks saw some of what the doctors see but the idea of naming different illnesses and putting them into some structure I think was done for the first time in 1952. Diagnostic tests to determine what, what are a lot of the times horrific at best. Getting back to the numbers it doesn't take a lot of intelligence to hear a doctor speak of a chemical imbalance causing an illness and realizing that you never tested, alot of these theories can't be prooven numerically and all of a sudden numbers are very important to a person. Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying that doctors lie, I'm saying that, in todays society people don't really like a diagnosis being done on faith, and that happens, it does. Honestly, the first time I was diagnosed, knowledge from my academic credits was used to motivate medical theories.

All this above in my opinion points to the fact that psychiatry does not use enough numerical information on patients, mistakes happen and people loose time and friends due to stigma and other factors. Normal people start looking at you differently, if they hear the word mental. All of this can make a very difficult and sad situation, very tense.

Information overload

With all the troubles doctors can face and all the uncertainty patients face . I thought it may be worth a try to give doctors the ability to assign some sort of numerical value to what they do. Sure whoever setup the DSM document screwed the math up, which makes it more difficult to understand but with that corrected and if medisis is chosen doctors will be able to assign a numeric value per symptom per patient.

This information is saved and allows for analysis by a clinical person after the fact. Given there are tons of other benefits but to date nothing that allows doctors to "see" ratings, scales and charts on there observations of patients. People forget, all people doctors as well and that is part of the society we live in. If a person faces to much information some of it is forgotten to protect the most valuable organ we have. This is just a tool that could help them in there work.

A word on statistics

The DSM series of documents or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for mental disorders has a very deceiving title. It speaks to the reader of statistical information that might or might not be contained in it. Yet in my analysis of this document it makes no mention of which statistical methods were used and how these calculations were done. To a novice mathematician this would not mean anything but it has been pointed out by some people that it is possible to calculate the values you want by choosing the right method of calculation. There are various methods of calculation, including the Heuristic Monte Carlo algorithm. Without knowing what has been calculated and how the calculation was done, the numbers given don't really mean a thing as they can quite drastically differ from one type of calculation to the next.

After thought

I remember a while back, after saying to a doctor that this application can help people He told me how there was only one server in S.A. government and that it takes two hours to get email from it. Two things popped into my head, the first was that the doctor has absolutely no idea of how computer systems work, the second was that they are people to and sometimes can use some help, so if anyone would like to help with this project please contact me. "Sometimes the questions are complicated, the answers are simple..." Dr. Seuss

Update (Feb 2014)

Even though life goes on and I have been busy with various other projects in software. I thought this might be worth a mention. Last year (2013). The APA, released the DSM-v As you probably know Medisis has been running for the past three years and my outrageous statement about Medicine screwing up Mathematics, probably has a lot of people upset. The fact is it doesn't make it any less true as, when a person looks at the DSM-v the first thing you realize is that after 19 years of trying to mathematically model a space where mental illness "lives", the APA has given up and removed the axis system from the document. This could be a blessing or a curse as time will tell what my least favorite scientists will do with the new document. For the record... The idea of the axis system was scientifically sound. What they did with it though would be expected from a grade 12 student who hasn't received the proper training in Mathematics and has no idea of what the implications are of there choices. That though is behind us and even though Medisis will not be worked on anymore I'll leave it here for download and inspection. The pdf that describes the mathematics used in Medisis is here