A Conversational Agent for Use in the Identification of Rare Diseases

  • Ana Olivia Caballero LambertEmail author
  • Cesar Horacio Torres Montañez
  • Monica Bueno Martinez
  • Marcelo Funes-Gallanzi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering book series (LNICST, volume 179)


This paper presents work in progress on implementing a conversational agent, Dr. Rachael, in the form of a virtual caregiver, for use in helping to identify rare diseases. The rationale for the system is grounded in the fact that rare disorders by their very nature are difficult to diagnose unless the caregiver or doctor is familiar with a wide range of these conditions. The conversational agent uses unstructured free-flowing natural language together with a large database of rare disorders, and is easily updatable by human caregivers without any technical expertise. Matching of users’ comments with database entries is performed using a general cognition engine; which is able to understand natural language regardless of specific wording or grammar. In this paper we give a comprehensive background to and an overview of the system, with a focus on aspects pertaining to natural language processing and user interaction. The system is currently only implemented for English.


General cognition engines Artificial cognition systems Diagnosis Rare diseases 


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Copyright information

© ICST Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Olivia Caballero Lambert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cesar Horacio Torres Montañez
    • 2
  • Monica Bueno Martinez
    • 2
  • Marcelo Funes-Gallanzi
    • 3
  1. 1.Universidad IberoamericanaLeónMexico
  2. 2.Natura XalliTepicMexico
  3. 3.AVNTK, S.C.GuadalajaraMexico

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