Requirements analysis for an AI-based clinical decision support system for general practitioners: a user-centered design process

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Dania Schütze - , Goethe University Frankfurt a.M. (Author)
  • Svea Holtz - , Goethe University Frankfurt a.M. (Author)
  • Michaela C Neff - , University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe University Frankfurt a.M. (Author)
  • Susanne M Köhler - , Goethe University Frankfurt a.M. (Author)
  • Jannik Schaaf - , University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe University Frankfurt a.M. (Author)
  • Lena S Frischen - , University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe University Frankfurt a.M. (Author)
  • Brita Sedlmayr - , Institute for Medical Informatics and Biometry (Author)
  • Beate S Müller - , Goethe University Frankfurt a.M., University of Cologne, Uniklinik Köln (Author)


BACKGROUND: As the first point of contact for patients with health issues, general practitioners (GPs) are frequently confronted with patients presenting with non-specific symptoms of unclear origin. This can result in delayed, prolonged or false diagnoses. To accelerate and improve the diagnosis of diseases, clinical decision support systems would appear to be an appropriate tool. The objective of the project 'Smart physician portal for patients with unclear disease' (SATURN) is to employ a user-centered design process based on the requirements analysis presented in this paper to develop an artificial Intelligence (AI)-based diagnosis support system that specifically addresses the needs of German GPs.

METHODS: Requirements analysis for a GP-specific diagnosis support system was conducted in an iterative process with five GPs. First, interviews were conducted to analyze current workflows and the use of digital applications in cases of diagnostic uncertainty (as-is situation). Second, we focused on collecting and prioritizing tasks to be performed by an ideal smart physician portal (to-be situation) in a workshop. We then developed a task model with corresponding user requirements.

RESULTS: Numerous GP-specific user requirements were identified concerning the tasks and subtasks: performing data entry (open system, enter patient data), reviewing results (receiving and evaluating results), discussing results (with patients and colleagues), scheduling further diagnostic procedures, referring to specialists (select, contact, make appointments), and case closure. Suggested features particularly concerned the process of screening and assessing results: e.g., the system should focus more on atypical patterns of common diseases than on rare diseases only, display probabilities of differential diagnoses, ensure sources and results are transparent, and mark diagnoses that have already been ruled out. Moreover, establishing a means of using the platform to communicate with colleagues and transferring patient data directly from electronic patient records to the system was strongly recommended.

CONCLUSIONS: Essential user requirements to be considered in the development and design of a diagnosis system for primary care could be derived from the analysis. They form the basis for mockup-development and system engineering.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144
JournalBMC medical informatics and decision making
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2023

External IDs

PubMedCentral PMC10391889
Scopus 85166251260
Mendeley 9dd6e189-f5af-32a4-9ef9-4b77fc9935e4


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Humans, Decision Support Systems, Clinical, General Practitioners, Artificial Intelligence, User-Centered Design, Electronic Health Records, Qualitative research, User-centered design, Requirements analysis, Clinical decision support systems, Computer-assisted diagnosis, Primary care

Library keywords