Leveraging dialog systems research to assist biomedical researchers' interrogation of Big Clinical Data
Journal of Biomedical Informatics
The worldwide adoption of electronic health records (EHR) promises to accelerate clinical research, which lies at the heart of medical advances. However, the interrogation of such Big Data by clinical researchers can be laborious and error-prone, involving iterative and ineffective communication of data requests to data analysts. Research on this communication process is rare. There also exists no contemporary system that offers intelligent solutions to assist clinical researchers in their
... for clinical data. In this article, we first provide a detailed characterization of the challenges encountered in this communication space. Second, we identify promising synergies between fields studying human-to-human and human-machine communication that can shed light on biomedical data query mediation. We propose a mixedinitiative dialog-based approach to support autonomous clinical data access and recommend needed technology development and communication study for accelerating clinical research. flexible communication channels through human-computer interfaces, while remaining easy to understand and control [54, 29] . These two well-established fields have been very active through achievements in theory, methods and evaluation, and the development of re-usable dialog system components. Many of their contributions provide a foundation for designing and evaluating dialog systems that support clinical data query negotiation. On the other side, this communication space can provide a rich source of examples of real-world problems for those fields. We aim at increasing awareness toward a synergy with the communication sciences and dialog systems research. We summarize in Section 4 recommendations that can serve as guidelines for communication study in query negotiation and technology development. Our end goal is to inspire scholars about this important problem domain.