Structured Content and Connectivity of Medical Information - The Medical Data Web

Structured Content and Connectivity of Medical Information - The Medical Data Web

Walter Fierz (Institute for Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Switzerland)
Copyright: © 2002 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-13-6.ch012
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Abstract

To a large extent, medicine is an information-processing endeavor. It is all the more surprising, therefore, that computer technology has not yet developed very far in successfully supporting this activity. The areas where computer support is most advanced in medicine are signal processing and ‘data’1 generation, as well as in the administrative domain. However, the huge area that encompasses the main part of the physician’s clinical activity has only marginally been touched upon by information-processing systems. The reason for this might well lie with the problem that medical ‘information’ is mainly a matter of connecting pieces of data together. The sheer complexity of these connections is, however, beyond classical database technology. The best and easiest way to express such complex information has been written (and spoken) text, until now. A long tradition of how written medical reports are formulated and stored in patient records and how scientific reports are published in medical journals has been built up.

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