Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Putting Context to Work in the Doctor's Office

Now here's context, alive on the web:

The surgeon has a patient with a certain kind of fracture in the leg. The AO Foundation, a global nonprofit network of 250,000 surgeons involved primarily in osteopathy, has a web portal with a clickable map of a human, so a surgeon could click on the effected part of the leg, specify that a fracture has taken place, and get detailed drawings, photographs, and even "teaching videos" of other fractures. WP Experts, the architect of this system, has created links to AO Foundation's back-end systems, including an enterprise content management system and IBM DB2 databases, so as to be able to pull up and serve relevant information in any specified context.

People tend to learn contextually, so presenting information in context is a way of ensuring better education and not just supporting a one-off procedure.

"There was a study that found that, if a surgeon read new publications for two hours a day, he'd still be 1,000 hours behind at the end of a year," says WP's Oliver Trabert, expanding on the virtues of contextual learning.

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