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RE: An argument for bridging information models and ontologies at the syntactic level

From: Ogbuji, Chimezie <OGBUJIC@ccf.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 11:25:58 -0400
Message-ID: <2702D0EBA4F0A749968E52E8644184EA01DE999D@CCHSCLEXMB59.cc.ad.cchs.net>
To: dan.russler@oracle.com, dirk.colaert@agfa.com
cc: "Dan Corwin" <dan@lexikos.com>, public-hcls-coi@w3.org, public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org, public-semweb-lifesci-request@w3.org, rector@cs.man.ac.uk, "Samson Tu" <swt@stanford.edu>, "Oniki, Tom (GE Healthcare, consultant)" <Tom.Oniki@ge.com>, "Kashyap, Vipul" <VKASHYAP1@PARTNERS.ORG>

A (perhaps) naive question, inline below.

>-----Original Message-----
>From: Dan Russler [mailto:dan.russler@oracle.com] 
>Hi Dirk,
>Your understanding of "disease" is entirely in synch with mine.
>However, my professors in science felt that all measurements 
>were abstractions with a high degree of potential error, 
>including medical signs.
>So the basic issue is that "disease" and "medical sign" are 
>more similar than different in most properties, 
>e.g.significant introduction of judgement in the measurement 
>process, their propensity for error, the need for 
>re-evaluation at a later date, etc.
>Level of abstraction is simply a gray scale and cannot be 
>classified into "sharp borders" that can be independently 
>validated by multple classifiers. Therefore, there is no 
>distinct classifcation between "medical signs" and "disease."

The distinction that I've been using is that medical signs are
measurements (as Dirk says), and thus 'data' (in the sense that they
live in some communication media - digital or paper depending on the
medical record system).  Diseases are 'pathological dispositions'.  This
is very much a BFO-ism (for lack of a better word), but it basically
means that they are the potential to manifest a process (a pathological
process) that can (often) results in a pathological formation.

I'd be curious to hear if this philosophical distinction matches the
underlying science here.

Chimezie (chee-meh) Ogbuji
Lead Systems Analyst
Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Cleveland Clinic Foundation
9500 Euclid Avenue/ W26
Cleveland, Ohio 44195
Office: (216)444-8593


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Received on Tuesday, 15 April 2008 15:26:54 UTC

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