Title: MESUDD: towards a multi-lingua expert system for rural m-healthcare

Authors: John Babalola Oladosu; Michael Adeyemi Olamoyegun

Addresses: Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, PMB 4000, Ogbomoso 210214, Nigeria. ' Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, PMB 4000, Ogbomoso 210214, Nigeria

Abstract: A good number of applications and hardware devices for healthcare services have been produced through research efforts. A key limitation of the existing systems that are implemented for mobile devices, however, is that they have not adequately addressed language barrier, deplorable access to medical practitioners, cost constraints among other challenges peculiar to rural communities in developing and underdeveloped countries. This paper presents one of the solutions developed in our research efforts at addressing some of the aforementioned limitations of the existing systems. The work produced a novel mobile software tool that addresses the provisioning of real-time language translation for illiterate indigenous patients to interact with a medical expert system via a small mobile computing device for diagnoses and drug prescription where there is no doctor. Usability assessment of the tool was conducted by engaging physicians, paramedics and patients. The result of that assessment is presented.

Keywords: medical expert systems; multi-lingual expert systems; computational linguistics; electronic healthcare; m-health; rural healthcare; e-health; mobile healthcare; language barriers; medical access; cost constraints; rural communities; developing countries; real-time translation; language translation; illiterate patients; indigenous patients; medical diagnosis; drug prescriptions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEH.2012.049875

International Journal of Electronic Healthcare, 2012 Vol.7 No.2, pp.141 - 156

Available online: 17 Oct 2012 *

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