Octo Consulting, a technology solutions and management services company for both the intelligence and healthcare sectors, recently published an infographic exploring the intersection among the Semantic Web, Linked Data and Health IT as it relates to accessing and interacting with data from an array of sources in the healthcare chain. “Our point of view is that in healthcare there are multiple data sources and so much data – especially when it comes to clinical trials, pharmaceuticals research and scientific data,” says CTO Ashok Nare. “It’s very possible that each of those data elements is represented in a different format, so how to take them all and connect them to ask questions you aren’t able to ask otherwise. That’s where semantic technologies are extremely useful.”
One health-care sector project in which Octo is putting semantic technologies to use these days is an effort it has underway with the U.S.’s medical research agency, the National Institutes of Health, whose mission includes providing grants to the scientific community to engage in research and experiments “to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability,” as its web site explains. Now, not only does the NIH want to understand what it’s funding and how those grants are progressing, but also “what opportunities it may be missing out on,” Nare explains.
That means continually assessing not only what’s in its portfolio but also what research gaps there are, which requires conducting analysis on more and more data sources and investigating more queries: That could mean more development and expense, without the help of semantic web technologies.