An Automatic System for Helping Health Consumers to Understand Medical Texts

Marco Alfano, Biagio Lenzitti, Giosuè Lo Bosco, Valerio Perticone

Abstract

Medical texts (reports, articles, etc.) are usually written by professionals (physicians, medical researchers, etc.) who use their own language and communication style. On the other hand, these texts are often read by health consumers (as in the case of medical reports) who do not have the same skills and vocabularies of the experts and can have difficulties in text comprehension. To help a health consumer in understanding a medical text, it would be desirable to have an automatic system that, given a text written with medical (technical) terms, translates them in simple or plain language and provides additional information with the same kind of language. We have designed such a system. It processes online medical documents and provides health consumers with the needed information for their understanding. To this end, we use a medical vocabulary for finding the technical terms in the medical texts, a consumer health vocabulary (CHV) for translating the technical terms into their consumer equivalents and a health-consumer dictionary for finding supplementary information on the terms. We have built a prototype that processes Italian medical reports and uses infobuttons next to the technical terms for allowing easy retrieval of the desired information.

References

  1. Baorto, D.M. & Cimino, J.J., 2000. An “infobutton” for enabling patients to interpret on-line Pap smear reports. AMIA Annual Symposium Procs., pp.47-50.
  2. Cimino, J., 2007. An integrated approach to computerbased decision support at the point of care. Trans. of the American Clinical and Climatological Ass., 118, pp.273-288.
  3. Consumer Health Vocabulary Initiative. <Available from: http://consumerhealthvocab.org/>. (6 October 2014).
  4. Dizionario della salute. <Available from: http:// www.corriere.it/salute/dizionario/>. (6 October 2014).
  5. Dizionario di Medicina e Biologia. <Available from: http://medicina.zanichellipro.it/>. [6 October 2014].
  6. HL7 Version 3 Implementation Guide: Context-Aware Knowledge Retrieval Application (Infobutton), Release 4. <Available from: http:// www.hl7.org/implement/standards/product_brief.cfm? product_id=22>. (6 October 2014).
  7. HL7 Product Infobutton. <Available from: http://wiki.hl7. org/index.php?title=Product_Infobutton >. (6 October 2014).
  8. Infobuttons. <Available from: http://clinfowiki.org/ wiki/index.php/Infobuttons>. (6 October 2014).
  9. Italian Consumer-oriented Medical Vocabulary. <Available from: https://ehealth.fbk.eu/resources/ italian-consumer-oriented-medical-vocabulary-icmv>. (6 October 2014).
  10. Kandula, S., Curtis, D. & Zeng-Treitler, Q., 2010. A semantic and syntactic text simplification tool for health content. AMIA Annual Symposium Procs., pp.366-370.
  11. Kemper, D. et al., 2010. Getting patients to meaningful use: using the HL7 infobutton standard for information prescriptions. Healthwise White Paper Series.
  12. Keselman, A. & Slaughter, L., 2007. Towards consumerfriendly PHRs: patients' experience with reviewing their health records. AMIA Annual Symposium Procs., pp.399-403.
  13. Keselman, A., Smith, C. A., 2008 et al.. “Consumer health concepts that do not map to the UMLS: where do they fit?”, Journ. Am. Med. Inform. Ass., vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 496-505.
  14. Levenshtein Distance Algorithm. <Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levenshtein_distance>. (6 October 2014).
  15. MedlinePlus. <Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ medlineplus/healthtopics.html>. (6 October 2014).
  16. Ok Salute. <Available from: http://www.oksalute.it/dizionario-medico>. (6 October 2014).
  17. Plain Language.gov. <Available from: http://www.plainlanguage.gov/>. (6 October 2014).
  18. Seedorff, M. & Peterson, K., 2013. Incorporating Expert Terminology and Disease Risk Factors into Consumer Health Vocabularies. Pacific Symposium in Biocomputing, pp.421-432.
  19. Simple English Wikipedia. <Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simple_English_Wikipe dia>. (6 October 2014).
  20. Unified Medical Language System. <Available from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/research/umls/>. (6 October 2014).
  21. WebMD. <Available from: http://www.webmd.com/a-toz-guides/common-topics/default.htm>. (6 October 2014).
  22. Zeng, Q. & Tse, T., 2006. Exploring and developing consumer health vocabularies. Journal of the American Medical Informatics, pp.24-29.
  23. Zeng-Treitler, Q. & Goryachev, S., 2007. Making Texts in Electronic Health Records Comprehensible to Consumers?: A Prototype Translator. AMIA Annual Symposium, pp.846-850.
  24. Zielstorff, R.D., 2003. Controlled vocabularies for consumer health. Journal of Biomedical Informatics, 36(4-5), pp.326-333.
Download


Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

Alfano M., Lenzitti B., Lo Bosco G. and Perticone V. (2015). An Automatic System for Helping Health Consumers to Understand Medical Texts . In Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics - Volume 1: HEALTHINF, (BIOSTEC 2015) ISBN 978-989-758-068-0, pages 622-627. DOI: 10.5220/0005283606220627


in Bibtex Style

@conference{healthinf15,
author={Marco Alfano and Biagio Lenzitti and Giosuè Lo Bosco and Valerio Perticone},
title={An Automatic System for Helping Health Consumers to Understand Medical Texts },
booktitle={Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics - Volume 1: HEALTHINF, (BIOSTEC 2015)},
year={2015},
pages={622-627},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0005283606220627},
isbn={978-989-758-068-0},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF
JO - Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics - Volume 1: HEALTHINF, (BIOSTEC 2015)
TI - An Automatic System for Helping Health Consumers to Understand Medical Texts
SN - 978-989-758-068-0
AU - Alfano M.
AU - Lenzitti B.
AU - Lo Bosco G.
AU - Perticone V.
PY - 2015
SP - 622
EP - 627
DO - 10.5220/0005283606220627