A Method for Evaluating Computer Programs for Electrocardiographic Interpretation
I. Application to the Experimental IBM Program of 1971*
A method for evaluating computer programs for electrocardiographic interpretation is described. This method allows a clinician to judge the usefulness of a program for his specific setting and needs. The method requires a significant proportion and variety of abnormal tracings, the application of specific fixed criteria, and the separation of disagreements between the computer program and the clinician into those resulting from criteria differences and those resulting from programming errors, viz., pattern recognition failures, mismeasurements, and/or deficient program logic. When applied to the experimental IBM program 1971, staff cardiologists found essential agreement with the program's results in 76% of 1150 unselected tracings. Clinically significant disagreements based strictly on the application of different criteria occurred in 20% of the tracings, whereas disagreements based on program errors were found in only 4%. Although this program requires some system of human overview and quality checking, its potential for clinical implementation is worthy of consideration.
- Received February 8, 1974.
- Accepted March 26, 1974.
- © 1974 American Heart Association, Inc.