Semantic Web Standards and Ontologies in the Medical Sciences and Healthcare

Semantic Web Standards and Ontologies in the Medical Sciences and Healthcare

Sherrie D. Cannoy (The University North Carolina at Greensboro, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-050-9.ch006
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Abstract

This chapter will discuss Semantic Web standards and ontologies in two areas: (1) the medical sciences field and (2) the healthcare industry. Semantic Web standards are important in the medical sciences since much of the medical research that is available needs an avenue to be shared across disparate computer systems. Ontologies can provide a basis for the searching of context-based medical research information so that it can be integrated and used as a foundation for future research. The healthcare industry will be examined specifically in its use of electronic health records (EHR), which need Semantic Web standards to be communicated across different EHR systems. The increased use of EHRs across healthcare organizations will also require ontologies to support context-sensitive searching of information, as well as creating context-based rules for appointments, procedures, and tests so that the quality of healthcare is improved. Literature in these areas has been combined in this chapter to provide a general view of how Semantic Web standards and ontologies are used, and to give examples of applications in the areas of healthcare and the medical sciences.

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