Preprint Review Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

Robots to the Rescue: A Review of Studies on Differential Medical Diagnosis Employing Ontology-Based Chat Bot Technology

  1. Imagineering Institute (IDM Lab, Malaysia), 79200 Nusajaya, Malaysia
  2. Department of Computing, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Malaysia
  3. 10 Northampton Square City University London, College Building, Room A309a, University of London, London WC1E 7HU, UK
Version 1 : Received: 25 November 2016 / Approved: 25 November 2016 / Online: 25 November 2016 (10:48:44 CET)

How to cite: Edwards, B.; Muniru, I.; Cheok, A. Robots to the Rescue: A Review of Studies on Differential Medical Diagnosis Employing Ontology-Based Chat Bot Technology. Preprints 2016, 2016110130 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201611.0130.v1). Edwards, B.; Muniru, I.; Cheok, A. Robots to the Rescue: A Review of Studies on Differential Medical Diagnosis Employing Ontology-Based Chat Bot Technology. Preprints 2016, 2016110130 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201611.0130.v1).

Abstract

Access to medical care, especially in poor economies, is a key global issue. Telemedicine and other technology-aided approaches have been applied in addressing the challenge of access with many solutions that focus on closing the physician-patient gap. Medical diagnosis has however not fully represented in areas addressed through technology as fully automated and reliable diagnosis procedures are still far from being realized. Though a number of web-based applications are available, they employ text-based inputs rather than conversation in natural language. Ontology-based chatbot technology is being deployed to address this challenge through conversational agents. We explored the utility of ontology-based chatbot technology in medical diagnosis through a systematic review of the most recent related literature. English articles published in the last 5 years (2011-2016) returned 233 hits which yielded 11 relevant articles after screening of duplicates, title and abstracts. Findings showed that the creation of expert systems had been the focus of many of these studies with system training based mostly on expert knowledge and the physician-system-patient framework. The applications are designed to merely serve assistive purposes. The systems are deployed on the web or mobile phones. Findings further indicated gaps in the design and evaluation of more effective systems deployable as standalone applications, for example, on an embodied robotic system. The need for technology supporting the ‘physical examination’ part of diagnosis, connection to data sources on patients’ vitals and medical history are also indicated in addition to the need for more qualitative work on natural language-based interaction. The system should be one that is continuously learning. Focus should also be directed towards the building of more robust knowledge base as well as evaluation of theory-based diagnostic methodological options。

Subject Areas

chatbot technology; ontology-based systems; expert systems; diagnosis; conversational agents; robotics

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