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Patients are increasingly seeking interaction in support groups, which provide shared information and experience about diagnoses, treatment, etc. We present a Social Semantic Web prototype, PatientSupporter, that will enable such networking between patients within a virtual organization. PatientSupporter is an instantiation of Rule Responder that permits each patient to query other patients' profiles for finding or initiating a matching group. Rule Responder's External Agent (EA) is a Web-based patient-organization interface that passes queries to the Organizational Agent (OA). The OA represents the common knowledge of the virtual patient organization, delegates queries to relevant Personal Agents (PAs), and hands validated PA answers back to the EA. Each PA represents the medical subarea of primary interest to a corresponding patient group. The PA assists its patients by advertising their interest profiles employing rules about diagnoses and treatments as well as interaction constraints such as time, location, age range, gender, and number of participants. PAs can be distributed across different rule engines using different rule languages (e.g., Prolog and N3), where rules, queries, and answers are interchanged via translation to and from RuleML/XML. We discuss the implementation of PatientSupporter in a use case where the PA's medical subareas are defined through sports injuries structured by a partonomy of affected body parts.

Other RR instantiations are available through the Rule Responder home page.



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