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SUNY Oswego’s Human-Computer Interaction program sent two students to France this past summer to do research in health informatics.
Anthony Kirkpatrick and Jonathan Leeuwen were offered an opportunity to do research with the colleagues of Dr. Isabelle Bichindaritz in Nancy, France over the summer.
Bichindaritz, an assistant professor at SUNY Oswego, helped develop the Integrated Health Systems (IHS) and Health Information Technology (HIT) graduate certificate programs here on campus.
Bichindaritz specializes in artificial intelligence and applications to medicine, and has designed several computer science based systems used to work alongside physicians in order to collect data on a patient to create a treatment plan.
Anthony Kirkpatrick, an August graduate of the HCI program and IHS certificate program, worked on writing an extension for the software of a somatic wiki with the topic of oncology or cancer related.
“I created an extension for the wiki to help people enter and share information,” Kirkpatrick said. “There will be about seven to eight contributors to each wiki page.”
The research took place at the University of Lorraine in Nancy, France. Kirkpatrick and Leeuwen helped develop the software for an oncology medical team in Lorraine and the information and guidelines of much of their research can be found at oncologik.fr.
Leeuwen began his HCI graduate program fall 2013 and has decided to complete both the IHS and HIT graduate certificate programs to further his education in the technological advances of the health care industry.
Leeuwen worked in a computer lab called the Lorraine Research Laboratory in Computer Science and its Applications (LORIA) where he worked with a Ph.D. student on creating software called Kcatos.
Kcatos is a decision tree editor that was created by members of LORIA and is a tool that represents clinical practice guidelines in decision trees in order to better support medical professionals.
“I was looking at how to improve Kcatos in terms of representing more contextual knowledge, which could be pages, PDFs, URL links, or like PubMed, with the different articles,” Leeuwen said.
The decision trees are used to create a specific treatment plan for patience with different types of cancer.
“The software is being used by an oncology hospital medical team in Lorraine and what it does is, (doctors) base all their treatment plans off decision trees,” Leeuwen said. “So it’s not necessarily like treatment we get here, you go in and say you have stomach cancer, it is going to go off this decision tree for a treatment plan.”
Kcatos is up and coming software for clinical practice guidelines that is not yet being used.
“I was there to write an article and test all of this and I created a lot of prototypes in terms of representing what Kcatos could be,” Leeuwen said.
What comes next?
Kirkpatrick is a recent graduate and has had many opportunities to work oversees, including Australia and Brazil, with other professionals and students in HCI.
As for the research in France, “It was a great experience working on the production of something like this,” Kirkpatrick said.
He would like to continue he education and obtain his Ph.D. in computer science and design, but is looking to get more work experience first.
Leeuwen has just started his graduate program, but really used the France research trip as a learning experience to help him decide what his passion is.
“I want to get into program technology and obviously the health field is very involved,” Leeuwen said. “This field is definitely what I am interested in.”
While working with the Ph.D. department at the University of Lorraine, Leeuwen discussed potentially doing his Ph.D. in France after completing his graduate degree and certificates.