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21 January 2019

Interdisciplinary King's team win Best Demo for CONSULT healthcare project

An interdisciplinary team from King’s, led by academic staff from the Department of Informatics, has won Best Demo at the 6th International Conference on Human Agent Interaction for the CONSULT (Collaborative mObile decisioN Support for managing mULtiple morbidiTies) project.

Smartphone and stethoscope
Smartphone and stethoscope

The overarching goal of CONSULT is to establish the feasibility of employing a collaborative mobile decision-support system to help patients suffering from chronic diseases with multiple morbidities self-manage their treatment.

The CONSULT system takes input from multiple sources, including commercial wellness sensors and the patient's electronic health record, to inform an intelligent back-end that reasons about day-to-day health management decisions, customised for individual patients.

CONSULT's reasoning engine is underpinned by computational argumentation that constructs recommendations based on all the inputs, including applicable clinical guidelines. It also features an interaction agent driven by argumentation-based dialogue (chatbot) that responds to user queries.

The demo presented at the HAI conference, held at Southampton University in December 2018, focused on how patients interact with the CONSULT system. The two main ways to interact are through a dashboard on the CONSULT app and by dialogue with the CONSULT chatbot, also through the app.

In the demo, the team showcased these using a fictitious patient. The demo showed the patient proactively interacting with the chatbot to get advice on treating back pain, as well as the CONSULT system proactively interacting with the patient when a trend of raised blood pressure was detected.

In the latter scenario a dialogue through the chatbot enabled the CONSULT system to collect additional information from the patient before making recommendations. The CONSULT dashboard, also part of the demo, enabled the patient to quickly and effectively visualise their own wellness sensor data and summarised indicators of their wellbeing, including any relevant recommendations.

Members of the project team from the Department of Informatics are: Simon Parsons (co-principal investigator), Professor of Computer Science; Dr Vasa Curcin (co-PI), Senior Lecturer; Dr Sanjay Modgil, Senior Lecturer; Elizabeth Sklar, Professor in Computer Science; Dr Nadin Kokciyan, Research Associate; Dr Isabel Sassoon, Research Associate and Teaching Fellow; and Kai Essers (Research Assistant). Collaborating with these members are staff from the School of Population Health & Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine: Dr Mark Ashworth (co-PI); Martin Chapman, Research Assistant; and Dr Panagiotis Balatsoukas, Research Assistant.

Speaking about the award, Professor Simon Parsons said:

"We are delighted with the prize. It is a nice acknowledgement of all the hard work by the team in putting the CONSULT system together. We hope that patients will find it as impressive as our peers did.”

In this story

Mark  Ashworth

Professor of Primary Care

Vasa Curcin

Professor of Health Informatics

Sanjay Modgil

Reader in Artificial Intelligence