Patient-Provider Communication Training Models for Interactive Speech Devices

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Conference Proceeding

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Patient-provider communication plays a major role in healthcare with its main goal being to improve the patient’s health and build a trustworthy relationship between the patient and the doctor. Provider’s efficiency and effectiveness in communication can be improved through training in order to meet the essential elements of communication that are relevant during medical encounters. We surmised that speech-enabled conversational agents could be used as a training tool. In this study, we propose designing an ontology-based interaction model that can direct software agents to train dental and medical students. We transformed sample scenario scripts into a formalized ontology training model that links utterances of the user and the machine that expresses patient-provider communication. We created two instance-based models from the ontology to test the operational execution of the model using a prototype software engine. The assessment revealed that the dialogue engine was able to handle about 62% of the dialogue links. Future direction of this work will focus on further enhancing and capturing the features of patient-provider communication, and eventual deployment for pilot testing.