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AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2007 Oct 11:706-10.

Modeling relief.

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Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.


The American Board of Family Medicine deployed virtual patient simulations in 2004 to evaluate Diplomates' diagnostic and management skills. A previously reported dynamic process generates general symptom histories from time series data representing baseline values and reactions to medications. The simulator also must answer queries about details such as palliation and provocation. These responses often describe some recurring pattern, such as, "this medicine relieves my symptoms in a few minutes." The simulator can provide a detail stored as text, or it can evaluate a reference to a second query object. The second query object can generate details using a single Bayesian network to evaluate the effect of each drug in a virtual patient's medication list. A new medication option may not require redesign of the second query object if its implementation is consistent with related drugs. We expect this mechanism to maintain realistic responses to detail questions in complex simulations.

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