Jennifer Parker, MD, PhD, MPH


PGY-4 Resident, Department of Dermatology, Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Jennifer Parker, MD, PhD is completing her residency in Dermatology at Temple University. Previously, she was a  clinical researcher at Northwestern University’s Department of Dermatology, a Chief Resident in Radiation Oncology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital/Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, and a Diagnostic Radiation Resident at Yale New Haven Hospital. In February 2022, she received the 2022 Illinois State University Outstanding Young Alumni Award.  Dr. Parker has served as President of Northwestern McGaw Underrepresented Residents and Fellows Forum, an organization committed to increasing and retaining diversity in medicine and advocating for the practice of socially aware and culturally competent medicine.  She also works closely with the Graduate Medical Education Office on recruitment of those underrepresented in medicine.  Dr. Parker is committed to serving the needs of racial and ethnic minorities, elderly patients, immigrants and other vulnerable populations who often present with more advanced disease and who exhibit less understanding of their diagnosis and its significance.  Her goal, through the policy implementation process, is to coordinate integrated care across hospital systems and to ultimately improve health care delivery.  Dr. Parker earned her Ph.D. in Chemical and Systems Biology from the Medical Scientist Training Program in 2011, and received her medical degree in 2012, both from Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA.


Creation of a Chatbot Tool for Oncology Patient Management


Given the advances in oncologic treatment, cancer has become a chronic disease. The increased prevalence and life expectancy of cancer patients has led to higher costs to the healthcare system.  In 2010, national cancer care costs were estimated to be over $124 billion. The highest proportion of spending is for female breast cancer.  Cancer care spending is projected to greater than double by 2020. In addition, other factors such as first-time treatment of breast cancer,  advanced stage of breast cancer, higher household income, ethnicity, presence of comorbidities, and/or mental health concerns significantly influence costs of breast cancer care. Also, these  factors can lead to inappropriate utilization of acute care services.  Optimizing at-home management of cancer patients has the potential to reduce inappropriate utilization of clinical services. Furthermore, patient-facing mobile platforms can help optimize patient management outside of clinical settings and have been shown by healthcare software companies such as Wellframe to decreased care utilization and costs for chronic disease patients. 


1.  To learn artificial intelligence concepts, how Google Diaglogflow functions, and how to code to create an application. 

2.  To utilize Google Diaglogflow to build a chatbot that will provide medical decision support for breast cancer patients at home. 


We developed oncology patient personas based upon actual interactions and identified specific  problems that these patients may experience (pain points). We then created algorithms to  address these pain points and coded them into Google Diaglogflow to create the chatbot.


We were able to successfully create English-speaking chatbots for scheduling, radiation-induced dermatitis and pain management that can be used via Google Assistant.  

Further Directions:

We plan to develop chatbots for the remaining pain points and adapt the code for Spanish- speaking patients. Additional steps will include data collection to determine if the chatbot is  improving access to care; decreasing healthcare organization costs by reducing utilization of  unnecessary care; and improving patient and physician experiences with the healthcare system. 

Preceptor: Trishan Panch, MD, MPH, Wellframe Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer