Appendix E. Perinatal Computer Programs
Volume Editor needed. If interested Click here
To see a sample page www.fawdry.info/eepd/e_prg/SampleE.pdf
Discussion Links: None specific so far. Use www.eepd.org.uk
A place a) to draw attention to any public domain computer program relevant to perinatal computer systems and b) to allow those who have never written or even seen a computer program to get an idea as to what is involved.
(9 Aug 2010)
These days it is very rare for those who are not professional programmers to learn how to write computer programs. But for a relatively short time between about 1970 and 1985 professionals such as doctors who were interested in being creative with early microcomputers needed to learn how to read and to write computer programs often in Basic or Pascal.
Two of my attempts at this are included here to allow those who have never written a computer program to see what is involved. In addition an example of an original Protos program is also included purely for interest.
This appendix also provides a place to recommend programs relevant to maternity care to be publicised.
Rupert Fawdry. (Updated 9 Aug 2010)
EEPD Appendix E . Computer Programs
Contents so far
1. iPhone “Apps” programs
There are an ever increasing number of iPhone Apps programs relevant to medicine in general - Enter “Health and Fitness” into the Apps section of the iTunes store for a full list.
For EEPD comments on what may be specifically relevant to Perinatal Data, click on the following:
2. G.R.O.W. program
A link to Professor Jason Gardosi’s excellent program to allow Fetal Growth Charts to be customised to take account of the ethnic group of the mother http://www.gestation.net/GROW%20DOCUMENTATION.pdf
The data items needed for this computer program to be used is set out in
3. Birth Centiles
Another example for obstetricians as to how complex it is to write a computer program for what at first site might seem a simple aim. In this case I took the table set out in an obstetric textbook written by Professor Gordon Stirrat and converted it to a computer program. The program requested the parity of the mother, the sex of the neonate, and the gestation and weight at birth; and it then automatically calculated the baby’s centile weight compared to Aberdeen figures www.fawdry.info/eepd/e_prg/SFD.pdf
This was also originally written in BBC Basic and still runs perfectly on the Virtual Acorn emulator on my laptop PC.
4. Due Date
One of the first computer programs I ever wrote, once I had got over my surprise that, computer not after all being totally magic, there was not (in 1979!) already a program universally available on all computers to calculate the due date from the obstetric history. Such was my naïveté when I first started to work with computers!
It is included here, not just for nostalgia, but rather to illustrate in a relatively simple way to any obstetrician who has never written a computer program, how complex this process can be, especially when compared to our easy everyday use of a “due date” predictor wheel!
The original program was written in BBC Basic and still runs perfectly on the Virtual Acorn emulator on my laptop PC or Apple. www.fawdry.info/eepd/e_prg/DueDate.pdf√
5. Sample PROTOS CQL Program
The reasons why a simple database system for collecting data for analysis, using a program like Microsoft Access, is totally unsuitable for the complexity needed to create a functioning maternity system, are set out in
The purpose of providing this hyper-link sample of the original Protos CQL program www.fawdry.info/eepd/e_prg/Protos.pdf is both to illustrate the complexity of such clinical programs but also the fact that such a high proportion of the program consists of text which needs to be created and later quality corrected by expert clinicians and NOT by a computer programmer.
If you know of any other public domain computer programs in any computer language do let me know so that it can be included here either as a down loadable program file or as a hyperlink.
(Updated 9 Aug 2010)