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Generating monologue and dialogue to present personalised medical information to patients

By Ra Williams, Paul Piwek and Richard Power


Medical information is notoriously difficult to convey to patients because the content is complex, emotionally sensitive, and hard to explain without recourse to technical terms. We describe a pilot system for communicating the contents of electronic health records (EHRs) to patients. It generates two alternative presentations, which we have compared in a preliminary evaluation study: the first takes the form of a monologue, which elaborates the information taken from the patient’s EHR by adding explanations of some concepts and procedures; the second takes the form of a scripted dialogue, in which the content is recast as a series of questions, answers and statements assigned to two characters in the dialogue, a senior and a junior nurse. Our discourse planning method designs these presentations in tandem, first producing a monologue plan which is then elaborated into a dialogue plan.

Year: 2007
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