W3C Semantic Web Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group

The Semantic Web Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group is designed to improve collaboration, research and development, and innovation adoption in the health care and life science industries. Aiding decision-making in clinical research, Semantic Web technologies will bridge many forms of biological and medical information across institutions.

News and Events


rdf Syndicate this page via RSS 1.0, an RDF vocabulary. Archived news related to the Activity is also available.

Upcoming HCLS Related Conferences

Recent Conferences


Both Life Science Research and Health Care are areas undergoing phenomenal growth, holding much promise for our future as long as we can manage and apply the new knowledge gained without driving up costs. Key to their success is the implementation of new informatics models that will unite many forms of biological and medical information across all institutions, through the encoding of meaning into the data and their interpretations. By focusing on the semantics of information, researchers will have more access to the knowledge required to effectively find cures to diseases, while doctors will have better tools for individualized clinical management of patients.

Mission and Scope

The Semantic Web for Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group (HCLSIG) is chartered to develop and support the use of Semantic Web technologies and practices to improve collaboration, research and development, and innovation adoption in the of Health Care and Life Science domains. Success in these domains depends on a foundation of semantically rich system, process and information interoperability. ( more).

The scope of HCLSIG will include:

HCLS will actively coordinate with groups and consortia within Life Sciences and Health Care areas:

Information on the benefits and ROI of Semantic Web technologies in Healthcare and Life Science can be found at HCLS ROI Analysis

The HCLSIG will also provide a forum for supporting, guiding and collecting application and implementation experience, along with business and use cases associated with using Semantic Web technologies to solve life science and health care problems. Applications and use cases include:

A more detailed list of application and implementation experience is availiable.

Read more about the mission of this group in the charter.

Task Forces

As a result of the Activities from the Jan 25-26 F2F Meeting, five new task forces have been drafted to address key areas necessary for implementation of semantic web for healthcare and life sciences. These task forces are a first draft (not yet official) and will be adjusted as necessary as progress is made. Each group is defining their scope, timeline, and deliverables within the 2yr HCLSIG timeframe:

  1. BIORDF (Structured Data to RDF)
  2. Scientific Publishing, (formerly Knowledge Life Cycle)
  3. Ontologies Task Force
  4. Adaptive Healthcare Protocols and Pathways
  5. Drug Safety and Efficacy

(10/6/06) Based on the second F2F held in Amsterdam, a specific set of action items have been agreed on: Action Items; Presentations and Minutes

(8/24/06) Renamed Knowledge LifecycleTask Force to Scientific Publishing (AJ Chen Coordinator); ROI Task Force completed

(7/21/06) New Drug Safety and Efficacy Task Force created to address best practices in critical areas of Drug R&D

(5/18/06) The tasks of the former Text-to-Structured Data (T2S) Task Force have been merged with tasks in the BioRDF task force.

Membership and Joining

Communications of the HCLSIG will be public. This includes a public home page that records the history of the group and provides access to public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org mailing list, ( discussion archives), meeting minutes, updated schedule of deliverables, membership list, and relevant documents and resources.

W3C has created the HCLSIG to be an open, sustainable forum. To help ensure that the deliverables identified in this charter are produced in a timely fashion and represent the needs of a variety of communities, we therefore seek both dedicated and broad participation. We anticipate that dedicated individuals will enable the group to make timely progress, and that the diverse communities interested in the goals outlined by this charter -- companies, universities, and organizations of various types -- will be represented in the group.

The HCLSIG therefore welcomes participation from representatives of W3C Member organizations. If you are not a W3C member, but are interested in joining please follow the instructions on how to become a W3C Member. If you are part of a W3C Member organization, you can join the Semantic Web Health Care and Life Sciences Interest Group by filling in the participation form.

To enable a broad spectrum of input, the HCLSIG also anticipates the active participation of individuals as W3C Invited Experts from universities and organizations. If you're not affiliated with a W3C member organization but you feel you have expertise not currently represented in the group that you would like to contribute, contact the chair and team contact. Additional details regarding membership are defined in the charter.

Participation from W3C Members and non-Member Invited Experts will help ensure the goals of this charter are effectively addressed. A current list of HCLS members is available.

Charter / History

The HCLSIG Charter shows what the W3C has asked this interest group to do. The following events reflect the history of this work and chart our progress:


Semantic Web Life Science Sources


HCLS Wiki Sites

Related Articles

HCLS related Tools and Content

Theswe can be found on the updated HCLS Tools and Content WIKI site.

The Semantic Web Best Practices and Deployment working group maintains a more detailed, general list of Applications and demonstrations that may be of additional use.

W3C - HCLS Tools for exposing data in the Semantic Web

Tonya Hongsermeier <thongsermeier@partners.org>, (Partners Healthcare) HCLSIG Co Chair
Eric Neumann <eneumann@teranode.com>, (Teranode Corporation) HCLSIG Co Chair
Ivan Herman <ivan@w3.org>, (W3C) Semantic Web Activity Lead

$Id: homepage-2005-2007.html,v 1.1 2008/05/13 18:14:06 eric Exp $