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J Biomed Inform. 2006 Oct;39(5):500-13. Epub 2006 Mar 3.

Chester: towards a personal medication advisor.

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Department of Computer Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.


Dialogue systems for health communication hold out the promise of providing intelligent assistance to patients through natural interfaces that require no training to use. But in order to make the development of such systems cost effective, we must be able to use generic techniques and components which are then specialized as needed to the specific health problem and patient population. In this paper, we describe Chester, a prototype intelligent assistant that interacts with its user via conversational natural spoken language to provide them with information and advice regarding their prescribed medications. Chester builds on our prior experience constructing conversational assistants in other domains. The emphasis of this paper is on the portability of our generic spoken dialogue technology, and presents a case study of the application of these techniques to the development of a dialogue system for health communication.

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