Guardian Angel
Personal Lifelong Active Medical Assistant

The Guardian Angel Consortium
MIT, Tufts NEMC, Childrens Hospital (Boston)


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Current health information systems are built for the convenience of health care providers and consequently yield fragmented patient records in which medically relevant lifelong information is sometimes incomplete, incorrect, or inaccessible. We are constructing information systems centered on the individual patient instead of the provider, in which a set of guardian angel (GA) software agents integrates all health-related concerns, including medically-relevant legal and financial information, about an individual (its subject). This personal system will help track, manage, and interpret the subject's health history, and offer advice to both patient and provider. Minimally, the system will maintain comprehensive, cumulative, correct, and coherent medical records, accessible in a timely manner as the subject moves through life, work assignments, and health care providers. Each GA is an active process that performs several important functions: it collects patient data; it checks, interprets, and explains to the subject medically-relevant facts and plans; it adapts its advice based on the subject's prior experiences and stated preferences; it performs sanity checks on both medical efficacy and cost-effectiveness of diagnostic conclusions and therapeutic plans; it monitors progress; it interfaces to software agents of providers, insurers, etc.; and it helps educate, encourage, and inform the patient. All this serves to improve the quality of medical decision-making, increase patient compliance, and minimize iatrogenic disease and medical errors.

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Last modified: Wed Feb 24 13:41:12 EST 1999