HCLS Tutorial at C-SHALS

The HCLS IG gave a tutorial at the C-SHALS Conference last week. It was very well attended and consisted of participants from pharma, payers, health care organizations, technology companies, and academia.

The first half of the tutorial began with a primer on the Semantic Web that was delivered by Lee Feigenbaum. He did an excellent job of introducing the technology, and answering a broad range of good questions from the participants.

The second half of the tutorial began with Eric Prud’hommeaux (W3C) introducing HCLS. He highlighted that the mission of the group is to develop, advocate for, and support the use of Semantic Web technologies for biological science, translational medicine, and health care; and described the strong need for interoperability within these domains. He highlighted that almost 100 individuals are now participating in the interest group.

The tutorial then provided an overview of the activities being undertaken by the different tasks within HCLS. Vipul Kashyap (Cigna) described how the Clinical Observations Interoperability task built a demo that enables querying across electronic health records that are in different formats. John Madden (Duke) presented on work within the Terminology task to represent SNOMED within Semantic Web representations, and compared benefits of SKOS to OWL. Susie Stephens (Lilly) presented on making publicly available data sets about drugs available within the Linked Data cloud, which is ongoing work within the Linking Open Drug Data task. She also briefly introduced the new Pharma Ontology task which has the goal of creating a high-level, patient-centric ontology for translational medicine. Tim Clark (Harvard) represented the Scientific Discourse task and described their approach for integrating knowledge relating to hypotheses derived from literature and experiments using SWAN, SIOC, and myExperiment ontologies. The tutorial concluded with Kei Cheung (Yale) providing a description of the accomplishments on aTags and federated query within the BioRDF task.

Slides are available from the tutorial on the HCLS Wiki.

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