- An example of such a presentation layer is the portal, built on IBM WebSphere Portal technology by IBM partner WP Experts, currently in use by AO Foundation, a global nonprofit network of 250,000 surgeons involved primarily in osteopathy. After talking at length to Oliver Trabert, the founder of WP Experts and portal architect for AO Foundation, I began to think of the portal he was describing as contextual. But let's look at some details first.
"The idea is to allow a surgeon to view information in the context of current patients," explains Trabert. "For example, a surgeon can identify a bodypart and verify his diagnosis."
Say the surgeon has a patient with a certain kind of fracture in the leg. The AO Foundation has 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 has created links to AO Foundation's back-end systems, including an enterprise content management (ECM) system from Documentum and IBM DB2 databases, so as to be able to pull up and serve relevant information in any specified context.
The AO Foundation portal is a very powerful tool, and not just for diagnosis. It helps with patient positioning and prophylaxis before procedures, offers tips for rehabilitation after procedures, and is the front end to a wealth of searchable surgical literature. This is important because, if surgeons don't get served what they're looking for when they click on a bodypart or ask for some other contextual information, they can always do a search of their own to find the material.
Another compelling feature of the contextual portal is that 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.