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Clinical (or Diagnostic) Decision Support Systems (CDSS) are interactive computer programs, which directly assist physicians and other health professionals with decision making tasks.

For medical diagnosis, there are scopes for ambiguities in inputs, such as history (patient’s description of the diseased condition), physical examinations (especially in cases of uncooperative or less intelligent patients), and laboratory tests (faulty methods or equipment). Moreover, for treatment, there are chances of drug reactions and specific allergies, and patients' non-compliance of the therapy due to cost or time or adverse reactions.

In all these areas, computers can help the clinician to reach an accurate diagnosis faster. Another new branch of medicine pharmacogenomics is the product of breeding between information technology and biology, leading to individualized treatment.

The basic components of a CDSS include a dynamic (medical) knowledge base and an inferencing mechanism (usually a set of rules derived from the experts and evidence-based medicine). It could be based on Expert systems or artificial neural networks or both (Connectionist expert systems).

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