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DIFFNET - Headache Differential Diagnosis Software

Technology #2019-070

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DIFFNET Software - One (1) Year
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Researchers
Dr. Pengfei Zhang
Dr. Pengfei Zhang is a practicing physician in the Rutgers Health Robert Wood Johnson Hospital Department of Neurology. He is Board-certified for Neurology, specializing in headaches and migraines. He is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, and completed his residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
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Dan Benderly
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DIFFNET Summary Page [PDF]

Migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) are among the most common medical complaints and causes of disability, chronically afflicting up to 5% of the population.  Coming up with a set of potential diagnoses for a clinical complaint – that is, a differential diagnosis – is an important part of any clinical practice. This process is especially important in Headache Medicine: often clinicians find themselves with a  potential diagnosis that only fits some of the symptoms presented. In these cases, a list of differential diagnoses becomes crucial in helping clinicians rule out alternative disease processes.

Description:

A physician practicing in the Neurology Department at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Hospital developed the DIFFNET software to produce a list of differential diagnoses once a potential diagnosis is given.  Specifically, once a headache diagnosis is entered into DIFFNET, a list of differential diagnoses is presented to the user. This differential diagnosis is generated based entirely on the International Classification of Headache Disorders 3 (ICHD3), the gold standard document for headache diagnosis.

Benefits:

Existing differential diagnosis software typically asking about a pre-defined set of symptoms as a starting point. Clinical history can be vague, and classification based on a  checkbox approach enables diagnostic bias. In addition, existing software are built on data sources that do not have headache medicine as a primary focus.  As such, they are not best suited for headache differential diagnosis per se.

In contrast, DIFFNET:

·  Starts with the physicians intuition regarding a clinical scenario and potential diagnosis;

·  Utilizes state of the art diagnostic criteria in Headache Medicine -- Generates a differential diagnosis based on ICHD3, which is the latest expert consensus for diagnosis in headache disorder

Target Users:

·  Primary Care Physicians

·  Neurologists

·  Headache Physicians

·  Medical Educators