W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org > February 2010

Re: When does a document acquire (web) semantics?

From: Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2010 09:39:46 +1000
Message-ID: <a1be7e0e1002011539m352d8a5cqe8875440a4fdfdba@mail.gmail.com>
To: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Cc: Jim McCusker <mccusker@gmail.com>, John Madden <john.madden@duke.edu>, w3c semweb HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, Oliver Ruebenacker <curoli@gmail.com>
On 2 February 2010 09:08, Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com> wrote:
> Peter, I agree with 99% of what you said but this bit bothers me a bit:
>
>
>> People regularly misinterpret medical documents currently by examining
>> them without the proper medical training. Adding superclasses etc or
>> deleting elements as they feel necessary is just formalising the
>> process where normal people interpret advice given by medically
>> trained people.
>
> Surely the point of what we do (or maybe just should do) with online
> data is to minimise the risk of misinterpretation?
> Classic medic stuff says the doctor isn't always right, but the
> patient usually doesn't have a clue so it's based on trust. Trust is
> good, but really (for the person on the receiving end) I'd rather see
> stuff based on facts.

If the focus was on interactive medical documents, and not just marked
up versions of what is currently given, then it would provide a bigger
benefit, IMO. The main bits I am wary of is using automated complex
reasoning outside of the facts that are given in the document because
that still requires people to understand pretty much every statement
in the set of related documents in order to trust the decision. If it
was more focused on making the documents that are given to patients
more interactive I am all for it as it gives the possibility to
explore the related information without being overwhelmed by
everything in a complex ontology at once. One area might be enhanced
discharge summaries for instance that I saw a talk on a few days ago.

If we get experience in being able to easily annotate documents,
without focusing on being able to actually do anything reasoning based
in the background, the reasoning element might fall into place
gradually. Just having links to go with the medical terminology would
be a good start.

Practical use of patient data automatically with ontologies will most
likely need to wait until there are less brittle methods of doing
reasoning where single incorrect statements don't throw the whole
process out. The success of bioinformatics ontologies on large
statistically invariant populations doesn't easily map to individual
cases--where the hard decisions that we are trying to make easier will
inevitably contain apparently contradictory facts that will throw
anyone who hasn't actually worked on modelling the ontology.

Cheers,

Peter
Received on Monday, 1 February 2010 23:40:13 GMT

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