Ontologies in Medicine

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It is now widely acknowledged that ontologies can make a significant contribution to the design and implementation of information systems in the medical field. The aim of this book is both to review fundamental theoretical issues in ontology and to demonstrate the practical effectiveness of the ontological approach by means of a series of case studies in specific problem areas. It begins with a discussion of the usefulness of ontology in solving problems in the field of medical terminology, including disambiguation of polysemous terms and organization of very large corpora. It goes on to consider the role played by ontologies in the integration and alignment of heterogeneous knowledge sources, in particular in the field of clinical guidelines and evidence-based medicine. Also included are discussions of basic issues of formal ontology, such as how to represent space, time and granularity in biomedical information systems, and discussions of specific high-level medical categories, such as organ systems and their functions. Other papers describe applications of ontology in the field of genomics and in the domain of organ transplantation, and also methods by which mistakes, cycles and inconsistencies in medical ontologies can be detected. The whole presents a unique survey of the most important contributions to the topic of formal ontology in medicine.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

If ontology is the solution, what is the problem? 1
Biodynamic ontology : applying BFO in the biomedical domain 20
Bodily systems and the spatial-functional structure of the human body 39
Inflammation ontology design pattern : an exercise in building a core biomedical ontology with descriptions and situations 64
Context-based task ontologies for clinical guidelines 81
An ontological framework for the implementation of clinical guidelines in health care organizations 95
Gene ontology applicatino to genomic functional annotation, statistical analysis and knowledge mining 108
Evolving from standard vocabularies to formal ontology for an information system dedicated to organ transplantation 132
Mistakes in medical ontologies : where do they come from and how can they be detected? 145
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