Filipino Geeks wins Duke’s Choice Awards
By Erwin Oliva
First Posted 16:18:00 04/08/2008
MANILA, Philippines–James Gosling, one of the creators of the Java programming language and environment, has chosen a Philippine made Java-based application aimed at helping doctors in rural areas manage poisoning cases as among the most innovative applications from around the world, a University of the Philippines Computer Science professor told INQUIRER.net on Tuesday.
Students from the UP Department of Computer Science who developed the Expert System for Poisoning (EPS), have won in this year’s Duke’s Choice Awards, according to UP professor Prospero Naval of the Department of Computer Science.
The ESP application is a “clinical decision support system for the diagnosis and management of poisoning,” according to the project information that Naval provided.
“ESP was designed to help doctors in the provinces who don’t know a lot about poisoning to diagnose quickly. In cases of poisoning, doctors have to act quickly,” he said in a telephone interview.
Naval and Riza Batista-Navarro guided computer science students Diana Bandojo, Ma. Jaymee Gatapia, and Reggie Santos in the development of the ESP prototype.
Naval said medical expertise and direction were provided by Dr. Alvin Marcelo, director of the National Telehealth Center in UP Manila.
Gosling handpicks winners for the Duke’s Choice Awards, according to the award’s website.
“Winners are selected by James Gosling and the Java technology leadership team. Judging will be based on the innovation and creativity of the Java technology-based applications and services, including web applications and tools, mobile applications and services, games, and card-based applications,” the website added.
Naval said the ESP prototype is a system that can be handled by trained physicians or health professionals.
After being supplied basic information such as symptoms, the application use a knowledge base of common poisons and a rules-based approach to generate an assessment or set of recommendations, which are then presented to doctors for consideration.
Naval said that the ESP is still in phase one, and could be developed further.
The UP professor said the next step is to develop a mobile phone-based version of the application.
In 2005 alone, there was only one doctor for every 80,000 in the Philippines, according to a presentation of the ESP project.
The prototype has been valided using 50 test cases, where about 82 percent of the actual results consist of the expected result in the first or second rank in the list of possible poisoning types, the ESP presentation said.
Gosling did the “”original design of the Java programming language and implemented its original compiler and virtual machine,” according to his biography on the Sun Microsystems website.
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