Posts Tagged ‘healthcare’

Semantically Aligned Design Principles At Core of Australian Electronic Health Records Platform

site-header-10th-blog-304x200At the upcoming Semantic Technology & Business Conference in San Jose, Dr. Terry Roach, principal of  CAPSICUM Business Architects, and Dr. Dean Allemang, principal consultant at Working Ontologist, will host a session on A Semantic Model for an Electronic Health Record (EHR). It will focus on Australia’s electronic-Health-As-A-Service  (eHaas) national platform for personal electronic health records, provided by the CAPSICUM semantic framework for strategically aligned business architectures.

Roach and Allemang participated in an email interview with The Semantic Web Blog to preview the topic:

The Semantic Web Blog: Can you put the work you are doing on the semantic EHR model in context: How does what Australia is doing with its semantic framework compare with how other countries are approaching EHRs and healthcare information exchange?

Roach and Allemang: The eHaaS project that we have been working on has been an initiative of Telstra, a large, traditional telecommunications provider in Australia. Its Telstra Health division, which is focused on health-related software investments, for the past two years has embarked on a set of strategic investments in the electronic health space. Since early 2013 it has acquired and/or established strategic partnerships with a number of local and international healthcare software providers ranging from hospital information systems [to] mobile health applications [to] remote patient monitoring systems to personal health records [to] integration platforms and health analytics suites.

At the core of these investments is a strategy to develop a platform that captures and maintains diverse health-related interactions in a consolidated lifetime health record for individuals. The eHaaS platform facilitates interoperability and integration of several health service components over a common secure authentication service, data model, infrastructure, and platform. Starting from a base of stand-alone, vertical applications that manage fragmented information across the health spectrum, the eHaaS platform will establish an integrated, continuously improving, shared healthcare data platform that will aggregate information from a number of vertical applications, as well as an external gateway for standards-based eHealth messages, to present a unified picture of an individual’s health care profile and history.

Read more

Get The Scoop On The Critical ABCs of RDF

semtechbiz-10th-125sqThere’s a chance to learn everything you should know about RDF to get the most value from the W3C standard model for data interchange at the 10th annual Semantic Technology & Business Conference in San Jose next month. David Booth, senior software architect at Hawaii Resource Group, will be hosting a session explaining how the standard’s unique capabilities can have a profound effect on projects that seek to connect data coming in from multiple sources.

“One of the assumptions that people make looking at RDF is that it is  analogous to any other data format, like JSON or XML,” says Booth, who is working at the Hawaii Research Group’s on a contract the firm has with the U.S. Department of Defense to use semantic web technologies to achieve healthcare data interoperability. “It isn’t.” RDF, he explains, isn’t just another data format – rather, it’s about the information content that is encoded in the format.

“The focus is different. It is on the meaning of data vs. the details of syntax,” he says.

Read more

IBM Watson Group CTO Discusses Cognitive Computing, Content Curation For Healthcare Market

robhighThe role that cognitive computing can play in healthcare was explored last week in this story published at The Semantic Web Blog’s sister site Dataversity.net. That article looked at how Modernizing Medicine is leveraging IBM Watson for its new schEMA tablet app that helps doctors use the wealth of published medical research from highly reputable sources, such as the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and New England Journal of Medicine, to answer their questions.

Today, we’re complementing that article to further explore such aspects of the health care and cognitive computing connection based on an email conversation with IBM Watson Group CTO Robert High. “IBM Watson is transforming the patient experience and healthcare delivery system by helping physicians make sense of the enormous amount of data generated by an increasingly connected healthcare environment,” High writes.

“Content curation is a critical part of the solution delivery process. Without reputable and reliable sources of medical literature, therapy choices offered by Watson may not have the supporting evidence needed to inform clinicians in the use of those treatments. We work with the top clinicians at our partners to collect their feedback on supporting evidence and cull inappropriate information from their sources.” IBM, along with its solutions partners, works with a variety of content providers based on the relevance of their materials to treatment options, he adds.

Read more

Semantic Technology May Help NIH In Its HealthCare Advancement Mission

ashoknareOcto 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.

Read more

Cognitum Points To Use Cases For Semantic Knowledge Engineering

fl24Cognitum’s year got off to a good start, with an investment from the Giza Polish Ventures Fund, and it plans to apply some of that funding to building its sales and development teams, demonstrating the approaches to and benefits of semantic knowledge engineering, and focusing on big implementations for recognizable customers. The company’s products include Fluent Editor 2 for editing and manipulating complex ontologies via controlled natural language (CNL) tools, and its NLP-fronted Ontorion Distributed Knowledge Management System for managing large ontologies in a distributed fashion (both systems are discussed in more detail in our story here). “The idea here is to open up semantic technologies more widely,” says CEO Pawel Zarzycki.

To whom? Zarzycki says the company currently has pilot projects underway in the banking sector, which see opportunities to leverage ontologies and semantic management frameworks that provide a more natural way for sharing and reusing knowledge and expressing business rules for purposes such as lead generation and market intelligence. In the telco sector, another pilot project is underway to support asset management and impact assessment efforts, and in the legal arena, the Poland-based company is working with the Polish branch of international legal company Eversheds on applying semantics to legal self-assessment issues. Having a semantic knowledge base can make it possible to automate the tasks behind assessing a legal issue, he says, and so it opens the door to outsourcing this job directly to the entity pursuing the case, with the lawyer stepping in mostly at the review stage. That saves a lot of time and money.

Read more

Semantic Web Jobs: Siemens

Siemens

Siemens is looking for a Senior Staff Software Engineer in Malvern, PA. According to the post, “The Senior Staff Software Engineer will perform analysis, design, implementation, and testing of advanced clinical informatics software and knowledge systems. The position includes being part of a small team aimed at spearheading early clinical informatics development efforts by establishing early business requirements, service and knowledge oriented architectures and rapid development of prototypes with minimal supervision. (S)he will report to the Senior Manager, R&D who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the innovations center. ” Read more

What’s Real In Personalized Mobile Healthcare

rsz_rxNews came this week that a man accused of defrauding a financial group out of close to a million dollars around an investment in a fictional mobile medical device tablet is scheduled to sign a plea agreement admitting that he committed mail fraud. The man, Howard Leventhal, had been promoting the Star Trek-influenced McCoy Home Health Care Tablet as a device that can instantaneously deliver detailed patient information to medical providers. (The product is discussed on the company’s still-surviving web site here.) He was arrested for the fraud in October and has been out on bail.

The interesting thing about this case is that the fake he was perpetrating isn’t very far removed from reality regarding the role mobile apps and systems will play in healthcare. There of course are plenty of mobile apps already available that help users do everything from monitoring their hearts to recording their blood-oxygen level during the night to see whether they have sleep apnea. Research and Markets, for example, says the wireless health market currently will grow to nearly $60 billion by 2018, up from $23.8 billion, with remote patient monitoring applications and diagnostics helping to drive the growth. But where things really get interesting is when mobile health takes on questions of semantic interoperability of accumulated data, and assessing its meaning.

Read more

HealthCare.Gov: Progress Made But BackEnd Struggles Continue

rsz_hcgovThe media has been reporting the last few hours on the Obama administration’s self-imposed deadline for fixing HealthCare.gov. According to these reports, the site is now working more than 90 percent of the time, up from 40 percent in October; that pages on the website are loading in less than a second, down from about eight; that 50,000 people can simultaneously use the site and that it supports 800,000 visitors a day; and page-load failures are down to under 1 percent.

There’s also word, however, that while the front-end may be improved, there are still problems on the back-end. Insurance companies continue to complain they aren’t getting information correctly to support signups. “The key question,” according to CBS News reporter John Dickerson this morning, “is whether that link between the information coming from the website getting to the insurance company – if that link is not strong, people are not getting what was originally promised in the entire process.” If insurance companies aren’t getting the right information for processing plan enrollments, individuals going to the doctor’s after January 1 may find that they aren’t, in fact, covered.

Jeffrey Zients, the man spearheading the website fix, at the end of November did point out that work remains to be done on the backend for tasks such as coordinating payments and application information with insurance companies. Plans are for that to be in effect by mid-January.

As it turns out, among components of its backend technology, according to this report in the NY Times, is the MarkLogic Enterprise NoSQL database, which in its recent Version 7 release also added the ability to store and query data in RDF format using SPARQL syntax.

Read more

Help For HealthCare: Mapping Unstructured Clinical Notes To ICD-10 Coding Schemes

Photo of Amit ShethThe health care industry – and the American citizenry at large – has been focused of late on the problems surrounding the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the federal website’s issues foremost among them. But believe it or not, there are other things the healthcare industry needs to prepare for, among them the October 1, 2014 date for replacing the World Health Organization’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems ICD-9 code sets used to report medical diagnoses and inpatient procedures by ICD-10 code sets. ICD-9 uses 14,000 diagnosis codes which will increase to 68,000 in ICD-10, which is a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) code set requirement.

Natural language processing has had the primary role in many solutions aimed at transforming large volumes of unstructured clinical data into information that healthcare IT application vendors and their hospital customers can leverage. But there’s an argument being made that understanding unstructured text of clinical notes that contain a huge stash of information and then mapping them to fine-grained ICD-10 coding schemes requires a combination of NLP, advanced linguistics, machine learning and semantic web technologies, and Amit Sheth, professor of computer science and engineering at Wright State University and director of the Kno.e.sis Center is making them. (See our story yesterday for a look at how the NLP market is evolving overall, including in healthcare.)

“ICD-10 has thousands of codes with millions of possible permutations and combinations. A rule-based approach is not effective to cover the huge number of ICD-10 codes.” Sheth says. Extracting the correct concepts, identifying the relationship between these concepts and mapping them to the correct code is a major challenge, with codes often formed by information from various sections of a clinical document that itself is subject to individual physicians’ style of recording information, among other factors.

Read more

Alme For Healthcare: A Virtual Personal Assistant For Disease Management Debuts

rsz_1rsz_almepixAlme for Healthcare brings the personal virtual assistant to the disease management space. Next IT’s Alme natural language platform has a history in other sectors, including financial services, where it’s servicing loan-insurance for SWBC; transportation, where it’s enabling self-service for Alaska Airlines customers; and Aetna, where it’s supporting new user registrations, among others. In fact, Aetna is one of the customers it’s working with on the new healthcare virtual assistant that is designed to improve patient outcomes and quality of care.

The personal assistant functions in a multi-modal model, supporting both talking in natural language and typing; across multiple platforms, including smart phones and tablets; and with multi-lingual capabilities. The conversational language assistant is based on what Next IT notes is a comprehensive patient ontology, support for goal-based conversations (such as helping patients stick with treatment plans), and interactive concept illustrations (pointing out where to do at-home injections, for example).

“We’re working on disease management,” says Fred Brown, founder and CEO of Next IT. “People see their doctor every six months and then sort of forget what they’re supposed to do. So we want to provide real-time help and assistance for them, and an escalation path to a live medical professional when needed.”

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>