Locating medical treatments and treatment trials
Stigmergic systems can provide low cost, information centers for people seeking information about particular medical conditions.
Such an application - Cancer Treatment World - has already been prototyped for a pharmaceutical company. The brief was:
1) To provide a source of reference for people seeking information and knowledge on a variety of cancer conditions and to learn about treatments currently available
2) To provide contact areas for physicians looking for patients to take part in treatment trials and for patients (or their doctors) who would be looking for treatment trials.
The solution was based upon the Kempelen Box. This was extended to employ three distinct types of information provider agents (agents for patients, doctors and treatment trial managers).
A more challenging problem was to arrange for the prototype building program to cope with an unspecified, but possibly huge number of different varieties of cancer condition. For this, the prototype build program had to be extended to provide for a dynamic navigation system, that would self-organize and grow organically as the system expanded.
There is a a rough prototype of this project (if you click on the "R" category of this demo, and follow through the links marked in red, you'll see how an information space is divided up in such a way that medical practitioners, clinical trial managers and patients interested in a particular type of cancer all arrive at a particular place where they can share and compare information).
There are also several articles relating to the Cancer Treatment World project in the references section of this site. Similar systems can be rapidly prototyped for any medical subject area.