semFYC Information Day: Family Doctors considered KRISTINA as a potential ally

March 29, 2017, 4:06 p.m.

Last Saturday, April 25th, the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (semFYC) presented the European project KRISTINA to national health professionals at the semFYC Information Day, within the HORIZON 2020 Framework. 

Several family doctors attended the Information Day at the semFYC headquarters in Barcelona. Most of them showed their interest in using KRISTINA’s technology to improve health care for immigrant groups and to overcome language and cultural barriers during the medical consultations. semFYC scientific experts Drs. Anna Moragas, Lehdía M. Dafa and Carles Llor introduced their points of view on the subject, explaining their active role in the project, monitoring the content creation and modeling clinical use cases to different scenarios. 

Leo Wanner, project coordinator, CREA Research Professor at Universidad Pompeu Fabra (TALN Group) and expert in computational linguistic, explained to all participants the technical aspects applied to the project saying that all technical partners involved are fostering the research in many innovative communication technologies. The main outcomes and achievements are used and integrated in a unique system, the virtual agent KRISTINA. Professor Wanner also explained the main challenges and technical requirements to build a Knowledge-Based Information Agent with Social Competence and Human Interaction Capabilities. 

The feedback provided by the health experts met the technical main issues in a fruitful discussion, where all participants explained how the cultural barriers are affecting their daily work and efforts to ensure an effective universal healthcare assistance. 

Among the attendees, the current Chair for semFYC Resident Family Doctors, Dr. Anna Fernández, Dr. Josep Maria Cots, Coordinator and main responsible of the Infectious Diseases Working Group and Drs. Anna Fuentes Lloveras  and Daniel Planchuelo, Family Doctors in Barcelona at the CS Roger the Flor - Dreta Eixample.

All participants expressed their interest in the potential use of KRISTINA in hospitals and health centers to assist both young GPs and researchers. It has been the occasion to share professional experiences explaining how medical consultations can be affected by linguistic and cultural barriers. Participants contributed to the discussion explaining that the virtual agent KRISTINA should be adapted, in the future, to many health scenarios, supporting different migrations groups in Spain, such as for example Chinese migrants. They also highlighted that one of the potential future application could help deaf and dumb patients.
Finally, semFYC presented the main dissemination activities for the upcoming months explaining the importance to reach any potential stakeholders in order to gather experiences and meet users. During the periodical information days organized by semFYC in Spain and by the University of Tübingen and the German Red Cross in Germany, the virtual agent will be available for our participants and it will be possible to test the current functionalities. In the meanwhile, our technical partners continue to work on the different components, enhancing their integration within the system. 

During the upcoming months more events will be promoted in order to present KRISTINA and our main scientific, technological and social objectives.


multilingual intelligent embodied agent social competence adaptive dialogue expressive speech recognition and synthesis discourse generation vocal facial and gestural social and emotional cues