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Self-Anamnesis with a Conversational User Interface: Concept and Usability Study.

Methods Inf Med. 2018 Nov;57(5-06):243-252

Authors: Denecke K, Hochreutener SL, Pöpel A, May R

Abstract
OBJECTIVE:  Self-anamnesis is a procedure in which a patient answers questions about the personal medical history without interacting directly with a doctor or medical assistant. If collected digitally, the anamnesis data can be shared among the health care team. In this article, we introduce a concept for digital anamnesis collection and assess the applicability of a conversational user interface (CUI) for realizing a mobile self-anamnesis application.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:  We implemented our concept for self-anamnesis for the concrete field of music therapy. We collected requirements with respect to the application from music therapists and by reviewing the literature. A rule-based approach was chosen for realizing the anamnesis conversation between the system and the user. The Artificial Intelligence Markup Language was exploited for encapsulating the questions and responses of the system. For studying the quality of the system and analyzing performance, humanity, effect, and accessibility of the system, we performed a usability test with 22 persons.
RESULTS:  The current version of the self-anamnesis application is equipped with 63 questions on the music biography of a patient that are asked subsequently to the user by means of a chatbot conversation. The usability study showed that a CUI is a practical way for collecting anamnesis data. Users felt engaged of answering the questions and liked the human characteristics of the chatbot. They suggested to extend the conversation capabilities of the chatbot so that the system can react appropriately, in particular when the user is not feeling well.
CONCLUSIONS:  We could demonstrate the applicability of a CUI for collecting anamnesis data. In contrast to digital anamnesis questionnaires, the application of a CUI provides several benefits: the user can be encouraged to complete all queries and can ask clarifying questions in case something is unclear.

PMID: 30875703 [PubMed – in process]

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