Health Care / Life Sciences

How Watson Can Improve Cancer Patient Outcomes

watRob High, CTO of IBM Watson and Jho Low, CEO of Jynwel Capital recently shared their thoughts on Watson’s potential to drastically improve cancer care with Scientific American. The pair wrote, “Cutting-edge cancer therapies garner headlines, and one has to marvel at the advances in oncology research achieved over the past decade. Unfortunately, relatively few patients have access to advanced treatment plans at specialized cancer centers such as MD Anderson. Most receive far less effective cancer care, or no care at all. In addition, even the most devoted specialists cannot keep up with the ever-expanding body of medical literature. To fill these healthcare gaps, doctors and computer scientists at MD Anderson developed the MD Anderson Oncology Expert Advisor™ cognitive clinical decision support system (OEA™) [powered by Watson], which is being brought to life with the support of a $50 million gift from Jynwel Charitable Foundation to MD Anderson’s Moon Shots program.” Read more

Fighting Ebola through Intelligent Text Messages

Ebola textThe MIT Technology Review reports, “Back in July, Cedric Moro started a crowdsourced mapping service to keep track of the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Moro is a risk consultant who has created several crowdsourced maps of this kind using the openStreetMap project Umap. Anyone can enter information about suspected or confirmed Ebola cases while hospitals and other health facilities can tell people whether they are open and functioning and how many spare beds they have.” Read more

WEBINAR: The Yosemite Project – Part 1: An RDF Roadmap for Healthcare Information Interoperability (VIDEO)

The Yosemite Project - Part 1In case you missed last Friday’s webinar, “The Yosemite Project – Part 1: An RDF Roadmap for Healthcare Information Interoperability” delivered by David Booth, the recording and slides are now available (and posted below). The webinar was co-produced by SemanticWeb.com and DATAVERSITY.net and runs for one hour, including a Q&A session with the audience that attended the live broadcast.

If you watch this webinar, please use the comments section below to share your questions, comments, and ideas for webinars you would like to see in the future.

About the Webinar

Interoperability of electronic healthcare information remains an enormous challenge in spite of 100+ available healthcare information standards. This webinar explains the Yosemite Project, whose mission is to achieve semantic interoperability of all structured healthcare information through RDF as a common semantic foundation. It explains the rationale and technical strategy of the Yosemite Project, and describes how RDF and related standards address a two-pronged strategy for semantic interoperability: facilitating collaborative standards convergence whenever possible, and crowd-sourced data translations when necessary.

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Watson Hopes to Speed Clinical Trial Research for Mayo Clinic

WatsonSean Hogan of IBM recently wrote in Forbes, “Clinical trial recruitment is a data-intensive task that typically requires clinicians and researchers to manually cross reference patient data with criteria for thousands of available clinical trials. Now, Mayo Clinic and IBM have plans to tackle this data-driven challenge with IBM Watson to quickly and accurately match patients with appropriate clinical trials. Using natural language processing and powerful data analytics capabilities, Watson will help Mayo clinicians quickly sift through millions of pages of clinical trial and patient data and complete this cumbersome process in seconds. The new Watson solution will help ensure that all eligible patients are considered for clinical trials and could help accelerate medical research.” Read more

Achieving Interoperability in Health IT

2456767724_bdd5d95a1dGreg Slabodkin of Health Data Management recently wrote, “At a minimum, there are three types of interoperability required to achieve an interoperable health IT ecosystem, according to Doug Fridsma, M.D., ONC’s outgoing chief science officer. Speaking this week at AHIMA’s 2014 conference in San Diego, Fridsma made the case that health IT requires all three types of interoperability–semantic, syntactic, and information exchange. ‘If you exchange the information and the codes don’t match or it’s a proprietary set of codes, you’ve got the information but you have no idea what those codes mean,’ he argued. ‘Semantic interoperability is about the vocabularies and syntactic interoperability is about the structure’.” Read more

Healthline Launches New HealthData Engine

hitcJasmine Pennic of HIT Consultant reports, “Healthline, provider of intelligent health information and technology solutions, today launched its HealthData Engine to harness the power of structured and unstructured data to improve outcomes and reduce costs. The new big data analytics platform leverages the company’s market-leading HealthTaxonomy, advanced clinical natural language processing (NLP) technologies and semantic analysis to turn patient data into actionable insights.” Read more

Semantic Interoperability of Electronic Healthcare Info On The Agenda At U.S. Veterans Health Administration

LVScreenThe Yosemite Project, unveiled at this August’s Semantic Technology & Business Conference during the second annual RDF as a Universal Healthcare Exchange Language panel, lays out a roadmap for leveraging RDF in support of making all structured healthcare information semantically interoperable. (The Semantic Web Blog’s sister publication, Dataversity.net, has an article on its site explaining the details of that roadmap.)

The Yosemite Project grew out of the Yosemite Manifesto that was announced at the 2013 SemTechBiz conference (see our story here). The goals of the Manifesto have now been mapped out into the Project’s guidelines to follow on the journey to semantic interoperability by David Booth, senior software architect at Hawaii Resource Group (who led the RDF Healthcare panels at both the 2013 and 2014 conferences). The approach taken by the Yosemite Project matches that of others in the healthcare sector who want to see semantic interoperability of electronic healthcare information.

Among them are Booth’s fellow panelists at this year’s event, including Rafael Richards. Richards, who is physician informaticist at the U.S. Veterans Health Administration – which counts 1,200 care sites in its portfolio – comments on that alignment as it relates to the work he is leading in the Linked Vitals project to integrate the VA’s VistA electronic health records system with data types conforming to Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, orFHIR,standard for data exchange, and with information types supporting the Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes, or LOINC, database that facilitates the exchange and pooling of results for clinical care, outcomes management, and research.

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Smart Cities Are Coming

view of a city public tansportation yard and skyline at night.A recent press release states, “Transforming our cities into the Smart Cities of the future will encompass incorporating technologies and key digital developments all linked by machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions and real-time data analytics which sit under the umbrella term of the Internet of Things. Smart cities however must be underpinned by the appropriate ICT infrastructure based on fibre optic and high-speed wireless technologies, which is well underway in many developed cities around the world. This infrastructure allows for the development of smart communities; supporting connected homes; intelligent transport systems; e-health; e-government and e-education; smart grids and smart energy solutions – just to name a few of the exciting solutions smart cities will incorporate. Many of the technological advancements emerging around the world today can, and will be, applied to smart cities. Artificial Intelligence; Electric Vehicles; Autonomous Vehicles; Mobile applications; Drones; Wearable and Smart devices and so on are just some of the key developments to watch.” Read more

Enlitic is Teaching Computers to Detect Cancer

enliticCaleb Garling of the MIT Technology Review reports, “Machines are doing more and more of the work typically completed by humans, and detecting diseases may be next: a new company called Enlitic takes aim at the examination room by employing computers to make diagnoses based on images. Enlitic cofounder and CEO Jeremy Howard—formerly the president and lead scientist at data-crunching startup Kaggle—says the idea is to teach computers how to recognize various injuries, diseases, and disorders by showing them hundreds of x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other films. Howard believes that with enough experience, a computer can start to spot trouble and flag the images immediately for a physician to investigate. That could save physicians from having to comb through stacks of films.” Read more

Introducing SPARQLGraph, a Platform for Querying Biological Semantic Web Databases

sgDominik Schweiger, Zlatko Trajanoski and Stephan Pabinger recently wrote, “Semantic Web has established itself as a framework for using and sharing data across applications and database boundaries. Here, we present a web-based platform for querying biological Semantic Web databases in a graphical way.  Results: SPARQLGraph offers an intuitive drag &drop query builder, which converts the visual graph into a query and executes it on a public endpoint. The tool integrates several publicly available Semantic Web databases, including the databases of the just recently released EBI RDF platform. Furthermore, it provides several predefined template queries for answering biological questions. Users can easily create and save new query graphs, which can also be shared with other researchers.” Read more

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