Multi-Agent Systems: Effective Approach for Cancer Care Information Management


Physicians, in order to study the causes of cancer, detect cancer earlier, prevent or determine the effectivenessof treatment, and specify the reasons for the treatment ineffectiveness, need to access accurate, comprehensive, andtimely cancer data. The cancer care environment has become more complex because of the need for coordinationand communication among health care professionals with different skills in a variety of roles and the existenceof large amounts of data with various formats. The goals of health care systems in such a complex environmentare correct health data management, providing appropriate information needs of users to enhance the integrityand quality of health care, timely access to accurate information and reducing medical errors. These roles innew systems with use of agents efficiently perform well. Because of the potential capability of agent systems tosolve complex and dynamic health problems, health care system, in order to gain full advantage of E- health,steps must be taken to make use of this technology. Multi-agent systems have effective roles in health servicequality improvement especially in telemedicine, emergency situations and management of chronic diseasessuch as cancer. In the design and implementation of agent based systems, planning items such as informationconfidentiality and privacy, architecture, communication standards, ethical and legal aspects, identificationopportunities and barriers should be considered. It should be noted that usage of agent systems only with atechnical view is associated with many problems such as lack of user acceptance. The aim of this commentary is tosurvey applications, opportunities and barriers of this new artificial intelligence tool for cancer care informationas an approach to improve cancer care management.