eHealth Strategies for the Continuum of Care  

Agents Working Together

Healthcare Example
Agents Working Together

Connection Technologies
Intelligent Agents
Wireless Devices
Patient Encounter
Contact Information

Agents Working Together

Agents can handle web-based patient care information monitoring. Healthcare providers or patients cannot check all the places on the web where interesting, useful or critical data might have changed or been added. But agents can be programmed to watch an identified site or data point, telling its owner when a change occurs. The agent could send the user either the change itself or simply a notification that a change has occurred. This is perfect for the information intensive healthcare process.

Web agents could automate the tedious process of verifying doctor's credentials. Credentialing requires the inefficient exchange of faxes and documents between numerous administrative authorities. If credentials and licenses were posted securely on the Web, agents could query the various sites automatically, saving administrative costs and helping organizations deploy caregivers more efficiently.

Agents may be the next "killer application" for healthcare on the Internet

When agents work together, they can perform even more advanced functions. The following are some of the features and advantages of multi-agent systems:

1. Interoperability permits effective communication, coordination and negotiation between agents. Broker agents manage cross-agent communication and task sharing.

2. Electronic commerce agents understand negotiation and decision-making, enabling them to operate in the emerging healthcare e-markets.

3. Teams of agents work on complex problems, breaking them down into smaller tasks for individual agents.

4. Agent teams form "on demand" and reconfigure themselves depending on the task and situation.

5. The multi-agent systems support not only individual users, but also teams of healthcare providers who are collaborating remotely.

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