Living Lab for Studying the Effect of Communication in Medicine

Artificial Intelligence is making its way into clinical processes. With the growing potential of these tools, they will appear as tools in situations where multiple people are involved with their respective roles. Typical examples are medical history taking where in a conversation between patient and physician the task is to collect sufficient information about both the patient and the disease-related symptoms to be able to decide for the next best step. Here, modern chatbot systems have the potential to perform this task in silico and hence relieving the physician from routine questions – and ultimately saving time in the clinical process.

In this application example, we focus on how AI influences the communication between patient and physician. For example, does this AI influence mean that the patients are more open or do they hold back information when the chatbot asks for it? How reliable is the information given? Since this new type of communication can be mission-critical, it is important to first explore and then understand the underlying communication mechanisms.

For this purpose, we are planning to formulate a joint grant proposal with at least four partners from diverse fields such as psychology/learning science, engineering, computer science, and medicine. The focus of the grant proposal will be to explore the influence of AI on communication with the patient history taking as a use case; and by doing so to realize a living lab.

To increase funding chances, we plan to have a first prototype of a living lab which is a computer game system to mimic the communication between patient and AI resp. physician on medical history taking. A 1-year support from HEiKA would allow us to realize this game and to perform a first proof-of-demonstration experiment on this basis.

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