Box 5.6

Research Problems Categorized by Quadrant for Data Management at Scale

  • Quadrant 1 (General—applied efforts). Creation of systems that scale, using notions of “cloud” computing, coupled with local information to reduce management complexity

  • Quadrant 2 (Health care—applied efforts). Compression, understanding of what to store and what not to store, prioritization of information; privacy of patient information

  • Quadrant 3 (General—advanced efforts). Techniques for correcting or coding degrees of accuracy and precision in data; techniques for learning about and forming aggregate data sets; automated management techniques for large, highly valuable data sets that are often used across many organizations

  • Quadrant 4 (Health care—advanced efforts). Applications for handling inaccurate data to improve input to health care data models, better coding techniques for information

Automated Full Capture of Physician-Patient Interactions

As noted above, care providers spend a great deal of time in documenting their interactions with patients. Automated capture of patient-provider interactions would release such time for more productive uses and help to ensure more complete and more timely patient records.

A comprehensive environment for capturing interactions would necessarily be multimodal, involving ways of capturing and interpreting visual images and conversations. Rather than one general-purpose environment, capture environments would likely be specialized to different settings—such as hospital room (e.g., nurse/patient), emergency room (e.g., ER physician/patient), routine consultation (primary care provider/patient), and specialist consultation (e.g., cardiologist or surgeon and patient).

Some of the important dimensions in this problem domain include:

  • Real-time transcription and interpretation of the dialog between patient and provider. Individual voices must be identified as being associated with the provider or the patient. The transcript must be parsed unambiguously, irrelevant information identified and ignored, and relevant information interpreted.

  • Summarization of physical interactions between patient and provider based on the interpretation of images recorded by various cameras in the patient care room. In a hospital room, the system must be able to distinguish

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