Medical call centres are increasingly used to ease the pressure on emergency medical health care services. In their work situation, medical call centre operators have to relate to several non-integrated tools, which put significant cognitive load on them and reduces their attentiveness, efficiency and communicative ability. To enhance the quality of the decisions made, the operators use decision support tools, which steer the conversation into predefined pathways. Together, these factors interrupt the natural flow of the conversation, and have detrimental effect on the quality of the communication and how the call is handled. RE-AIMED will explore how to improve the communication with the caller and the operator's workflow by using artificial intelligence to suggest relevant questions which are sensitive to the context, and to identify medically significant patterns by analysing questions and answers. Choice of relevant questions and answers will help the operator to document the conversation in real-time. To provide context-specific suggestions, an ensemble of methods that not only analyses content, but also considers multiple characteristics like the pace of the conversation, have to be applied. As the medical urgency of reasons for contacting medical call centres are skewed, with few urgent cases, further research into new ways of overcoming imbalance-problems in prediction of minority classes is needed to ensure that rare, but serious, medical cases are not missed. Real-time documentation will demand new ways of using an intelligent user interface to require only a minimum of input to select appropriate questions, so that the operator can concentrate on the caller. Automatic documentation will generate large data sets of standardised and detail-coded descriptions of medical calls. The collected data will be a rich source for research on telephone triage, medical decision making, communication and reduction of biases in machine learning.
Project leader: Ingrid Hjulstad Johansen
Category: Nasjonale samfunnsvitenskapelige institutter
Institution: NORCE Samfunn/Helse VESTLAND