Putting data integration into practice: using biomedical terminologies to add structure to existing data sources.

Michael N. Cantor, Yves A. Lussier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A major purpose of biomedical terminologies is to provide uniform concept representation, allowing for improved methods of analysis of biomedical information. While this goal is being realized in bioinformatics, with the emergence of the Gene Ontology as a standard, there is still no real standard for the representation of clinical concepts. As discoveries in biology and clinical medicine move from parallel to intersecting paths, standardized representation will become more important. A large portion of significant data, however, is mainly represented as free text, upon which conducting computer-based inferencing is nearly impossible. In order to test our hypothesis that existing biomedical terminologies, specifically the UMLS Metathesaurus and SNOMED CT, could be used as templates to implement semantic and logical relationships over free text data that is important both clinically and biologically, we chose to analyze OMIM (Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man). After finding OMIM entries' conceptual equivalents in each respective terminology, we extracted the semantic relationships that were present and evaluated a subset of them for semantic, logical, and biological legitimacy. Our study reveals the possibility of putting the knowledge present in biomedical terminologies to its intended use, with potentially clinically significant consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalAMIA ... Annual Symposium proceedings / AMIA Symposium. AMIA Symposium
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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