MedISys: Medical Information System

MedISys: Medical Information System

Jens P. Linge (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen Global Security and Crisis Management Unit, Italy), Ralf Steinberger (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen Global Security and Crisis Management Unit, Italy), Flavio Fuart (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen Global Security and Crisis Management Unit, Italy), Stefano Bucci (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen Global Security and Crisis Management Unit, Italy), Jenya Belyaeva (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen Global Security and Crisis Management Unit, Italy), Monica Gemo (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen Global Security and Crisis Management Unit, Italy), Delilah Al-Khudhairy (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen Global Security and Crisis Management Unit, Italy), Roman Yangarber (University of Helsinki, Department of Computer Science, Finland) and Erik van der Goot (Joint Research Centre of the European Commission Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen Global Security and Crisis Management Unit, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-987-3.ch009

Abstract

The Medical Information System (MedISys) is a fully automatic 24/7 public health surveillance system monitoring human and animal infectious diseases and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats in open-source media. In this article, we explain the technology behind MedISys, describing the processing chain from the definition of news sources, scraping and grabbing articles from the internet, text mining, event extraction with the Pattern-based Understanding and Learning System (PULS, developed by the University of Helsinki), news clustering and alerting, to the display of results. The web interface and service applications are shown from a user’s perspective. Users can display world maps in which event locations are highlighted as well as statistics on the reporting about diseases, countries and combinations thereof and can apply filters for language, disease or location or filters with orthogonal categories, e.g. outbreaks, via their browser. Specific entities such as persons, organizations and locations are identified automatically.
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Europe Media Monitor

MedISys is one of the publicly accessible systems of the Europe Media Monitor (EMM) [Steinberger et al. 2009] family of applications. MedISys came online in August 2004 and has since been continuously extended. NewsBrief and MedISys detect breaking news and short-term trends for early alerting and display up-to-date category-specific news. While MedISys focuses on the public health domain, NewsBrief and the other EMM systems cover a wider variety of domains, with much less detail in public health. NewsExplorer focuses on daily overviews, long-term trends, in-depth analysis and extraction of information about people and organizations. EMM-Labs is a collection of more recent developments and includes various tools to visualize the extracted news data. For NewsBrief and MedISys, there are different access levels, distinguishing the entirely public web sites from an internal website for the European Commission. The public websites do not contain commercial sources and may have slightly reduced functionality. The public web pages of MedISys and NewsBrief are updated every ten minutes.

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