Tuberculosis diagnosis support analysis for precarious health information systems

Alvaro David Orjuela-Cañón, Jorge Eliécer Camargo Mendoza, Carlos Enrique Awad García, Erika Paola Vergara Vela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background and objective: Pulmonary tuberculosis is a world emergency for the World Health Organization. Techniques and new diagnosis tools are important to battle this bacterial infection. There have been many advances in all those fields, but in developing countries such as Colombia, where the resources and infrastructure are limited, new fast and less expensive strategies are increasingly needed. Artificial neural networks are computational intelligence techniques that can be used in this kind of problems and offer additional support in the tuberculosis diagnosis process, providing a tool to medical staff to make decisions about management of subjects under suspicious of tuberculosis. Materials and methods: A database extracted from 105 subjects with precarious information of people under suspect of pulmonary tuberculosis was used in this study. Data extracted from sex, age, diabetes, homeless, AIDS status and a variable with clinical knowledge from the medical personnel were used. Models based on artificial neural networks were used, exploring supervised learning to detect the disease. Unsupervised learning was used to create three risk groups based on available information. Results: Obtained results are comparable with traditional techniques for detection of tuberculosis, showing advantages such as fast and low implementation costs. Sensitivity of 97% and specificity of 71% where achieved. Conclusions: Used techniques allowed to obtain valuable information that can be useful for physicians who treat the disease in decision making processes, especially under limited infrastructure and data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-17
Number of pages7
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Health Informatics


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