New proposal: health & medical extensions to

Hi all,

As Ive alluded to before on this list (, over
the past 6 months, a few of us at Google and other institutions have been
working on a set of extensions to cover the health and medical
domain. After several internal iterations and a lot of feedback from
initial reviewers (including the US NCBI; physicians at Harvard, Stanford,
and Duke; the major search engines; and a few health web sites), we think
we have a solid draft and would like to open it for public feedback as a
step toward incorporating it into

The proposed health/medical schema can be found at which includes an introduction as
well as a snapshot of the type hierarchy and several markup examples. It's
also linked on the w3 wiki at As you'll see this
is a substantial piece of work, so wed welcome feedback and detailed
review comments on the specifics (please follow up to this email).

For those interested in more background on the approach: our goal is to
create schema that webmasters and content publishers can use to mark up
health and medical content on the web, with a particular focus on markup
that will help patients, physicians, and generally health-interested
consumers find relevant health information via search. The scope of
coverage for the schema is broad, and is intended to cover both consumer-
and professionally-targeted health and medical web content (of course, any
particular piece of online health/medical content is likely to use only a
subset of the schema). Weve worked with physicians, consumer web sites,
and government health organizations to get input into the key topics and
properties to model and to refine the schema structure and type/property

Note that it is explicitly not our goal to replace the many very good and
comprehensive medical ontologies, meta-thesaurii, or controlled
vocabularies that have been created over the years; our focus has been
instead on creating complementary, lightweight markup that surfaces the
existence of and relationships between entities in health/medical web
pages. When other ontologies and/or controlled vocabularies are available,
our proposed schema can link to and take advantage of them, e.g. via the
code property of
It is also not an initial goal to support automated reasoning, medical
records coding, or genomic tagging, as these would require substantially
more detailed (and hence high barrier-to-entry) modeling and markup; they
could be considered for future extensions.

We look forward to your feedback!


Aaron Brown (Google)

Aaron Brown | Senior Product Manager | Google, Inc. | New York, NY

Received on Monday, 14 May 2012 20:56:57 UTC