by November 5, 2002 0 comments



Homoeopathy treats a disease patently different from the way other systems of medicine, particularly allopathy (modern medicine), do. The effect-to-cause relationship used in homoeopathy may seem ideally suited to computerization, but the amount of software on the topic is limited and often beyond the financial reach of the average practitioner. A part of the attempt of this article is to explain the steps in arriving at a homoeopathic prescription, so that at least some software developers who are likely to read this piece may be encouraged to create such software. 

Philosophy
Founded about 200 years ago in Germany by Dr Samuel Hahnemann, Homoeopathy is based on the principle of “Similia Similibus Curentur”, which means let likes be treated by likes. The word homoeopathy is derived from two words: homoeos meaning similar and pathos meaning suffering. In this system patients are treated for a given set of symptoms with drugs that are able to produce similar symptoms when administered to healthy human beings.

Akiva

Akiva starts off with two sections, one for symptoms and the other for remedies.

Clicking on a remedy brings up more details about it, including its origin and indications. Clicking on the symptoms gives an overview of handling that symptom, and then proceeds to do the diagnosis.

Akiva tries to prescribe by asking a series of questions. You have the choice of answering, Yes, No or Don’t know to the questions. The number of questions is not fixed, but varies depending on your answers. At the end, it gives you three remedies by name, in order of preference. Clicking on any name brings up further details about the remedy from the other section.

One strong shortcoming is that it does not provide a list of questions asked and the answers you gave, leading to the possibility that you could loose track.
This is not a high-end software, but is positioned as a home-remedy package, preferably for someone who knows basic homoeopathy. The same company has a different option, Cara, a software better suited for the physician.

Homeopathy believes that life has a dynamic nature–that a vital force, which gives life to the material body, retains all the parts of an organism in harmonious function. When a person falls ill, this force is deranged giving the organism disagreeable symptoms. This force is capable of being dynamically influenced by agents from outside.

Since disease has a dynamic origin, the cure should also be dynamic. In homoeopathy drugs are never administered in crude form. The material content of drugs is reduced by dilution and friction in a neutral medium, whereby the disease-curing quality lying dormant in the drug is liberated. Thus, even substances like common salt, which have no therapeutic effect in the crude form, become powerful medicines.

Homoeopathy gives importance to the individuality of each patient. That is, it is the person who is sick and not his material body. Tissue changes are not the disease but the results of disease. Homoeopathic prescription is never done for the pathological condition but for the patient who is suffering from the pathological condition. So, all the symptoms expressed, both mental and physical, however trivial they may seem, are given importance in arriving at the drug. Prescription is based on those symptoms that differentiate him from another patient who is suffering for the same disease. Homoeopathic software works the same way in reaching a possible drug. 

Another unique feature of Homoeopathy is that drugs are proved on healthy human beings and not on animals. All symptoms, both mental and physical, experienced by the prover after the application of the material are recorded. The authenticity of each symptom is further verified by repeated proving on several persons. When a drug is proved comprehensively it becomes a part of Homoeopathic Materia Medica and gets used. 

How does a homeo doctor (or software for that matter) prescribe a drug? All deviations experienced by the patient from the previous healthy state, both 

mental and physical, are noted. These are compared with those seen in the Materia Medica and that drug, which is most similar to the symptoms of the patient, is selected. This is the “similimum”. This when applied in minimum dose and repeated at proper intervals is the master of the
situation and will cure the patient. 

There is only so much that software can do. Typically, software arrives at a possible group of drugs, but not the exact drug, the potency (strength) or the frequency of administration. This is where the expertise and experience of the prescribing physician comes into reckoning.

Repertorization
The Homoeopathic Materia Medica, which records multitudinous symptoms of drugs, is simply too huge. One cannot refer to all similar drugs in the Materia Medica corresponding to a picture of disease for the simple reason that it is time consuming and not practical. Here comes the need for a manual to ease the selection of similimum. This is where the Repertory comes in. 

Homeo on the Net

Homoeopathic Materia Medica on the Web
www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/    
Links to Homoeo software www.homeopathyhome.com/services
/computer_software.shtml
 

The word repertory means storehouse. It is an index to the Homoeopathic Materia Medica. The Repertory helps physicians to associate symptoms with a medicine or group of close running medicines. In the Repertory, various symptoms are arranged with a group of applicable medicines under various headings and subheadings called Rubrics. Rubrics are arranged in alphabetical order. 

Also medicines are given various grades according to the intensity of symptom as obtained during proving (testing on healthy humans). There are different type of repertories, like book repertories, card repertories and mechanically-aided repertories. Each repertory has its own construction and philosophical background. 

These repertories can be computerized and the advantage is that many different repertories can be included for searching under the same software. Software-based repertories come under mechanically-aided repertories. 

Software against cancer
Philips, or Royal Philips Electronics to give them their full name, has introduced a new version of P3IMRT software. This helps to pinpoint the delivery of radiation treatment, using a computer system to change the intensity of the beams, to ensure that the radiation is concentrated on the tumor while normal tissue is spared.
This software runs on the Pinnacle Pro Sunblade 2000 workstation. The workstation is a Sun machine with a 1 GHz UltraSparc III CPU running Solaris 8.

After recording all the symptoms from the patient they are rearranged according to their intensity and importance. This gives the totality of symptoms, which represents the individuality of the patient. Then a repertory is selected according to the merit of the case. For example, if a case has many prominent mental symptoms Kents repertory is ideal. Symptoms are again rearranged according to the philosophy of the repertory selected. These are converted to Rubrics. These rubrics are then referred to in the repertory. 

This gives a group of close running medicines with different grades. Those medicines with highest grades and those that cover most symptoms are selected. To further decide which from the identified group of drugs is to be administered, they have to be differentiated with further reference to the Materia
Medica.

Dr Priya VS BHMS

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