Seeking clarification regarding Assumed value

Heather Leslie heather.leslie at
Mon Oct 8 06:16:37 EDT 2018

Hi everyone,

Assumed value -

I've spoken to Sam Heard on many occasions and I have understood him to say that the intent for an assumed value to only be relevant for 'State' in an OBSERVATION. But never in 'Data'. This is what I've always taught modellers.

The original Ocean Archetype Editor, had this implemented. In more recent years 'assumed value' was implemented across all of the parts of the OBSERVATION. Incorrectly, as I understand it, but the code was never reviewed nor updated.

We are now debating how this should be implemented in the new ADL Designer, and I'm seeking clarification.

It makes sense to be able to potentially have an assumed value for 'State' - for example the position of the patient if it is always the same in 99% of use cases. The theory, as I understand it, is that in this situation the position will only be recorded if the assumed value is modified from the assumed value. (Mind you, if the assumed value is excluded/zero occurrence in an implemented template, it will not necessarily be a valid assumption, but let's keep that argument about whether assumed values are reasonable at all for later).

The discussion is often further compounded by confusion about default vs assumed values.

I don't think that it makes any sense to allow an 'assumed value' for actual data values eg a Systolic Blood Pressure measurement - especially if, as per the specs link (above), "The notion of assumed values is distinct from that of 'default values'. The latter is a local requirement, and as such is stated in templates; default values do appear in data, while assumed values don't."

My question to the list: Data values need to be recorded explicitly and should never be assumed - True or False?



Dr Heather Leslie
M +61 418 966 670
Skype: heatherleslie
Twitter: @atomicainfo, @clinicalmodels & @omowizard
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