2011 Volume 38 Issue 5 Pages 574-583
A new software tool for the health guidance and management of Metabolic Syndrome (MS) patients was developed by us. The usability of this tool was verified on several patients.
The method behind the tool relies on the application of Self-Organizing Maps (SOM) with which clusters are formed, following a “similarity” principle. Four components (obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension), which make up the MS diagnosis, are used as dimensions of a space in which the individual cases are related to each other by their relative positions on a spherical surface that, in turn, is displayed as a planar map on a computer screen. This planar map is visualized as a color map, called ”Component Map“. A change over time in the physical relationship between the 4 components is observed as a trace in the ”Score Map“: a trend is given a score in the range from 0 to 100 corresponding to the degree of illness of the patient diagnosed with MS.
The mutual understanding and trust between the patient and the health advisor, in taking steps to improve the living habits of the former, can be made more effective by using the ”Estimate Map“ as a guidance. With this map, the change can be visualized in terms of each one of the 4 components, and used for documenting and scheduling purposes.
After reviewing the within-individual changes over 10 years, observed in 38 patients diagnosed with MS, which came in for their medical checkups, we found that the physiological change of the individual patient is important.
The score value, which shows the degree of severity of MS, when contrasted with MS Diagnosis Standard, was validated. We can distinguish with our method a normal area, with a score equal or less than 20, which compared well to non MS cases of Japan MS Diagnosis Standard. Also, when comparing the scores obtained with our method, for the case of a group of 57 male patients, with the health guidance of “Specific Screening Program”, 64.9 % showed an improvement, 15.8 % remained unchanged, 19.3 % showed an aggravation of their condition. All these numbers approximately agreed with the ratios based on a large national investigation.
In this study, the usability of a new method in support of the health care management of MS patients effectively in Health Evaluation and Promotion was validated.