The Army Uses WebLS to
a Breast Cancer Decision Guide
Answering the call to empower breast cancer patients with the information needed
to have meaningful discussions and make decisions with their physicians,
the U.S. Army created the Breast Cancer Decision Guide. The guide is a
Web site, aimed at both military and non-military patients and their families.
The purpose is to help in decision making with a physician; not to actually
For its innovative use of computing applications to create the Guide,
Amzi! has been named a Laureate for the Smithsonian-Computerworld
Innovation awards. Amzi! shared the award with co-developers Science Applications
Intl. Corp. and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
The award was presented on the mall in Washington, D.C. and the project materials
have been accepted into the Smithsonian Institution's Permanent Research Collection
of Information Technology. The permanent collection, established in 1989, is the
world's premier historical record of computing applications and innovations.
Guide uses WebLS to aid medical decision-making by providing patients and family
members with custom-generated information that is specific to an individual's
breast cancer diagnosis and personal situation. The Guide was designed to clearly
present the information, organized by topic (with citations) and enhanced by the
use of graphics.
Allowing complete control over the format of the questions
and the generated information (document), the WebLS solution is an ideal basis
for the Guide. Additionally, WebLS makes it easy to represent knowledge with if-then
rules. The diagnosis and treatment modules have almost 1800 rules,
provided with personalized information that can improve the understanding of a
specific breast cancer diagnosis and the treatment options that are likely to
apply when that diagnosis and other patient-specific factors (both medical and
non-medical) are taken into account. The interactive consultations (built with
WebLS) filter out information that is not relevant and select all information
that is relevant, including information that the user might not otherwise have
Additionally, the consultations organize the relevant information
into a concise and clearly written report that includes options for verifying
that the information applies and suggest how to obtain additional information.
For more information, see Expanding WebLS
to Support a Breast Cancer Decision Guide, in the articles section of this
Guide is a project of the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Prevention, Education
and Diagnosis Program Initiative funded by U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel
Command Contracts DAMD17-93-C-3141 and DAMD17-96-C-6131.
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