A Lexi-ontological Resource for Consumer Healthcare: The Italian Consumer Medical Vocabulary

Cardillo, Elena (2011) A Lexi-ontological Resource for Consumer Healthcare: The Italian Consumer Medical Vocabulary. PhD thesis, University of Trento, Fondazione Bruno Kessler.

PDF - Doctoral Thesis


In the era of Consumer Health Informatics, healthcare consumers and patients play an active role because they increasingly explore health related information sources on their own, and they become more responsible for their personal healthcare, trying to find information on the web, consulting decision-support healthcare systems, trying to interpret clinical notes or test results provided by their physician, or filling in parts of their own Personal Health Record (PHR). In spite of the advances in Healthcare Informatics for answering consumer needs, it is still difficult for laypersons who do not have a good level of healthcare literacy to find, understand, and act on health information, due to the communication gap which still persists between consumer and professional language (in terms of lexicon, semantics, and explanation). Significant effort has been devoted to promote access to and the integration of medical information, and many standard terminologies have been developed for this aim, some of which have been formalized into ontologies. Many of these terminological resources are used in healthcare information systems, but one of the most important problems is that these types of terminologies have been developed according to the physicians’perspective, and thus cannot provide sufficient support when integrated into consumer-oriented applications, such as Electronic Health Records, Personal Health Records, etc. This highlights the need for intermediate consumer-understandable terminologies or ontologies being integrated with more technical ones in order to support communication between patient-applications and those designed for experts. The aim of this thesis is to develop a lexical-ontological resource for consumer-oriented healthcare applications which is based on the construction of a Consumer-oriented Medical Vocabulary for Italian, able to reflect the different ways consumers and patients express and think about health topics, helping to bridge the vocabulary gap, integrated with standard medical terminologies/ontologies used by professionals in the general practice for representing the process of care, by means of Semantic Web technologies, in order to have a coherent semantic medical resource useful both for professionals and for consumers. The feasibility of this consumer-oriented resource and of the Integration Framework has been tested by its application to an Italian Personal Health Record in order to help consumers and patients in the process of querying healthcare information, and easily describe their problems, complaints and clinical history.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Information and Communication Technology
Subjects:Area 09 - Ingegneria industriale e dell'informazione > ING-INF/03 TELECOMUNICAZIONI
Area 09 - Ingegneria industriale e dell'informazione
Area 01 - Scienze matematiche e informatiche > INF/01 INFORMATICA
Area 06 - Scienze mediche
Area 09 - Ingegneria industriale e dell'informazione > ING-INF/05 SISTEMI DI ELABORAZIONE DELLE INFORMAZIONI
Uncontrolled Keywords:Consumer-oriented Healthcare Vocabularies, Medical Terminology Integration, Knowledge Engineering, Semantic Web Technologies
Funders:e- Health Fondazione Bruno Kessler
Repository Staff approval on:17 Jun 2011 13:01

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