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Information architecture for a patient-specific dashboard in head and neck tumor boards



Overcoming the flaws of current data management conditions in head and neck oncology could enable integrated information systems specifically tailored to the needs of medical experts in a tumor board meeting. Clinical dashboards are a promising method to assist various aspects of the decision-making process in such cognitively demanding scenarios. However, in order to provide extensive and intuitive assistance to the participating physicians, the design and development of such a system have to be user-centric. To accomplish this task, conceptual methods need to be performed prior to the technical development and integration stages.


We have conducted a qualitative survey including eight clinical experts with different levels of expertise in the field of head and neck oncology. According to the principles of information architecture, the survey focused on the identification and causal interconnection of necessary metrics for information assessment in the tumor board.


Based on the feedback by the clinical experts, we have constructed a detailed map of the required information items for a tumor board dashboard in head and neck oncology. Furthermore, we have identified three distinct groups of metrics (patient, disease and therapy metrics) as well as specific recommendations for their structural and graphical implementation.


By using the information architecture, we were able to gather valuable feedback about the requirements and cognitive processes of the tumor board members. Those insights have helped us to develop a dashboard application that closely adapts to the specified needs and characteristics, and thus is primarily user-centric.

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The authors would like to thank M. Stöhr, V. Zebralla and J. Müller for their valuable comments and suggestions in regard to this paper.


This project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the scope of the program “Entrepreneurial Regions” with Grant Number 03Z1LN11. The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the authors.

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Correspondence to Alexander Oeser.

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Oeser, A., Gaebel, J., Dietz, A. et al. Information architecture for a patient-specific dashboard in head and neck tumor boards. Int J CARS 13, 1283–1290 (2018).

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  • Information architecture
  • Tumor board
  • Clinical dashboard
  • User-centric design
  • Assistance system