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This research explores agent technology to support the information needs of patients and community pharmacists toward a beneficial outcome for the patient. As patients make more use of over the counter (OTC) medications to manage their own conditions, they must achieve effective communication in dealings with community pharmacists to avoid drug interactions and for guidance to seek consultation with physicians when appropriate. We describe an agent architecture that utilizes implicit and explicit sources of information for patient profiling. Collected profiles are used to provide a range of agent-based functions - including question formulation aides, Internet search utilities, and to support navigation of treatment guidelines - for both patients and pharmacists. The agent services are implemented in the context of the "Winston" Internet Medicine Cabinet, an online personal medication history service. We illustrate the value of the agent architecture and profiling in terms of an Internet search function.
Date of Conference: 7-10 Jan. 2002