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Therapy Adviser for Oncology

Objective

The TAO project aimed to evaluate the effects consequent on the introduction of a knowledge-based system to advise on the chemotherapy of lung cancer. A therapy adviser for oncology, TAO, was to be developed, to provide chemotherapy, patient and other information in response to interactive queries by doctors.
The early phase of the project was concerned with the refinement of knowledge bases, the construction of the patient-specific database and the design of the man-machine interface.
The second phase of the project consisted mainly of the implementation of the knowledge and inference architecture, using a skeletal system already developed by one of the partners.
The final phase focused on the evaluation of the system in the context of its use in a domain where heavy reliance is already placed on data analysis techniques. This took into account the attitude of staff and patients and the impact of the tool on work practices, against measures of efficiency, safety, and costs. The description of the evaluation scheme was an early deliverable.
The modern management of the treatment of cancer requires the physician to follow complex therapy protocols and to respond with precision and expertise to changes in the patient's condition. Computers are routinely used for oncology protocol data analysis and management. However, most do not directly facilitate the physician's treatment decision process.

The project aimed to evaluate the effects consequent on the introduction of a knowledge based system to advise on thechemotherapy of lung cancer. A therapy adviser for oncology, TAO, was developed, to provide chemotherapy, patient and other information in response to interactive queries by doctors. The early phase of the project was concerned with the refinement of knowledge bases, the construction of the patient specific database and the design of the man machine interface. The second phase of the project consisted mainly of the implementation of the knowledge and inference architecture, using a skeletal system. The final phase focused on the evaluation of the system in the context of its use in a domain where heavy reliance is already placed on data analysis techniques. This took into account the attitude of staff and patients and the impact of the tool on work practices, against measures of efficiency, safety, and costs. System building tools were ported to the project for the implementation of TAO on the MIKIC system. Two preliminary implementations of modules of the knowledge based system using different tools were demonstrated. Human computer interaction and graphic interfaces were specified and implemented. Three hospitals were chosen for the validation of the system, located in England, France and Spain, and a statement of the evaluation criteria and an analysis of the operational environment produced.
The system-building tools developed in project 387 (KRITIC) were ported by Framentec to the project for the implementation of TAO on the MIKIC system. Two preliminary implementations of modules of the knowledge-based system using different tools were demonstrated. HCI and graphic interfaces were specified and implemented.
Three hospitals were chosen for the validation of the system, located in England, France and Spain, and a statement of the evaluation criteria and an analysis of the operational environment produced.
Scientific links were established with the ONCOCIN project at Stanford University.
Exploitation
By its provision of evaluation methodologies and by reporting experience of their use, the outcome of this project has enlarged knowledge of the design and introduction of successful techno-medical knowledge-based systems. Such an evaluation both of expert systems in themselves and of their performance in an operational environment is a prerequisite to their use in industry.
The project provided a demanding testbed for the system building tools from KRITIC.
A study in a Madrid hospital is evaluating TAO in a clinical environment.

Coordinator

Meterquest Ltd
Address
Deacon House 56 Old Church Street
SW3 5BS London
United Kingdom

Participants (4)

CITSA
Spain
Address
University Santiago De Compostela
Santiago De Compostela
Framentec SA
France
Address
Tour Fiat 1 Place De La Coupole
92084 Paris La Défense
Medimatica Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
15 Irvine Street
London
UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
United Kingdom
Address
Woodhouse Lane
LS2 9JT Leeds