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Review

Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis Be Parameterized and Standardized? A Narrative Review

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Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
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CBSIn—Centro de Biociências em Saúde Integrativa, Atlântico Business School, 4405-604 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
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CTEC—Centro Transdisciplinar de Estudos da Consciência da Universidade Fernando Pessoa, 4249-004 Porto, Portugal
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ICBAS—Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, University of Porto, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal
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INEB—Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica, Universidade do Porto, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
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German Society of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 69126 Heidelberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Francesco Sessa
Healthcare 2021, 9(2), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020177
Received: 31 December 2020 / Revised: 25 January 2021 / Accepted: 3 February 2021 / Published: 7 February 2021
The integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Western health systems and research requires a rational communicable theory, scientific proof of efficacy and safety, and quality control measures. The existence of clear definitions and the diagnosis standardization are critical factors to establish the patient’s vegetative functional status accurately and, therefore, systematically apply TCM therapeutics such as the stimulation of reflex skin areas known as acupoints. This science-based conceptualization entails using validated methods, or even developing new systems able to parameterize the diagnosis and assess TCM related effects by objective measurements. Traditionally, tongue and pulse diagnosis and the functional evaluation of action points by pressure sensitivity and physical examination may be regarded as essential diagnostic tools. Parameterizing these techniques is a future key point in the objectification of TCM diagnosis, such as by electronic digital image analysis, mechanical pulse diagnostic systems, or the systematic evaluation of acupoints’ electrophysiology. This review aims to demonstrate and critically analyze some achievements and limitations in the clinical application of device-assisted TCM diagnosis systems to evaluate functional physiological patterns. Despite some limitations, tongue, pulse, and electrophysiological diagnosis devices have been reported as a useful tool while establishing a person’s functional status. View Full-Text
Keywords: traditional Chinese medicine; TCM diagnosis; tongue diagnosis; pulse diagnosis; electrophysiology; acupoints; acupuncture traditional Chinese medicine; TCM diagnosis; tongue diagnosis; pulse diagnosis; electrophysiology; acupoints; acupuncture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Matos, L.C.; Machado, J.P.; Monteiro, F.J.; Greten, H.J. Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis Be Parameterized and Standardized? A Narrative Review. Healthcare 2021, 9, 177. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020177

AMA Style

Matos LC, Machado JP, Monteiro FJ, Greten HJ. Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis Be Parameterized and Standardized? A Narrative Review. Healthcare. 2021; 9(2):177. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020177

Chicago/Turabian Style

Matos, Luís C., Jorge P. Machado, Fernando J. Monteiro, and Henry J. Greten. 2021. "Can Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis Be Parameterized and Standardized? A Narrative Review" Healthcare 9, no. 2: 177. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9020177

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