Early Referral voice application (DIVA)

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Description: This application demonstrates a telephone consultation between a general practitioner (actor) and a software "agent" that has specialist knowledge of NICE criteria for urgent referral of patients with suspected cancer.

Publet Introduction:

This application illustrates the use of PROforma technology in a "remote consultation". In the demonstration scenario, a clinician is seeking advice on whether a woman with suspected breast cancer should be urgently referred to a specialist oncologist or not. Essentially the system takes a clinical history, then analyses the information about the patient and then recommends the appropriate action.

The system is accessed by telephone, microphone or multi-modal browser. The demonstration illustrates a number of natural conversational features (e.g. accepting information in response to questions or volunteered, interpreting "non-standard" terms, giving explanations on request and so on).

An old version of the application was originally developed by Martin Beveridge and colleagues in the EU HOMEY project and is illustrated in a video in which Martin plays the role of a GP. Click on the still above to download and run the video, or access a version on YouTube.

Guideline objectives
Target setting Primary Care
Target users General Practitioners
Provenance Proof of concept only
  • Author: Omar Khan
  • Release date: 05-08-2014 16:10:00
  • Status: Draft - Under Review
  • History: Submitted on 05/08/2014
Safety case None Supplied



Beveridge M, Milward D. Combining task descriptions and ontological knowledge for adaptive dialogue. In: V. Matoušek and P. Mautner (Eds.) Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Text, Speech and Dialogue (TSD’03), 8th –11th September, Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic, Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI 2807), Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 341 – 348. [Springer]   [Paper - Cancer Research UK]


Beveridge M, Fox J. & Milward D. Speech Interfaces for Point-of-Care Guideline Systems. Proc. 9th Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine in Europe (AIME-03), 18–22 October, Cyprus. Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI 2780), Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp. 76–80. [Springer]   [Paper - Cancer Research UK]


Department of Health. Referral guidelines for suspected cancer. London: DoH, 2000.