GQ Zhang and Satya Sahoo deliver a two-hour tutorial at the ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium!

GQ Zhang and Satya SahooGQ Zhang (Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Chief of Medical Informatics at CWRU), Satya Sahoo (Assistant Professor in the division of medical informatics at CWRU), and Amit Sheth (the LexisNexis Ohio Eminent Scholar at Wright State University) delivered a two-hour tutorial titled "The Role of the Semantic Web in Health Informatics" at the ACM SIGHIT International Health Informatics Symposium in Miami, Florida, January 28, 2012. The tutorial was one of only three tutorials selected by the SIGHIT Symposium this year!

Leveraging the rapidly increasing amount of health care data to demonstrably enhance quality of clinical research and patient care has become a critical challenge for health care providers, researchers, and informaticians. In addition to the sheer volume of the data, the large disparity in storage formats, distributed locations, and variable quality of data, is exacerbating data management issues. There is an urgent need to address these issues to enable multi-center clinical studies, comply with new health care policies that encourage adoption of Electronic Health Records (EHR), and effectively move towards the National Institutes of Health roadmap of translational research.

The Semantic Web initiative by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has defined a set of standards and technologies for representing, integration, and querying large-scale data with increasing use in health care, exemplified by the W3C Health Care and Life Sciences (HCLS) Interest Group.

This tutorial weaved together three themes and the associated topics:

1. The role of biomedical ontologies as a community driven and agreed upon knowledge model, in health care data integration, interoperability, sharing, and storage.

2. Key technologies with focus on Semantic provenance and integration to ensure data quality, compliance with regulatory requirements, and preserving audit trails in health informatics.

3. In-practice tools and real world use cases built to serve the needs of sleep medicine researchers, cardiologists involved in clinical practice, and work on vaccine development for human pathogen will be used as real world experience in the use of Semantic Web technologies in health informatics.