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SemanticDB: A Semantic Web Infrastructure for Clinical Research and Quality Reporting

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 3 ]


Christopher D. Pierce, David Booth, Chimezie Ogbuji, Chris Deaton, Eugene Blackstone and Doug Lenat   Pages 267 - 277 ( 11 )


Semantic Web technologies offer the potential to revolutionize management of health care data by increasing interoperability and reusability while reducing the need for redundant data collection and storage. From 1998 through 2010, Cleveland Clinic sponsored a project designed to explore and develop this potential. The product of this effort, SemanticDB, is a suite of software tools and knowledge resources built to facilitate the collection, storage and use of the diverse data needed to conduct clinical research and health care quality reporting. SemanticDB consists of three main components: 1) a content repository driven by a meta-model that facilitates collection and integration of data in an XML format and automatically converts the data to RDF; 2) an inference-mediated, natural language query interface designed to identify patients who meet complex inclusion and exclusion criteria; and 3) a data production pipeline that uses inference to generate customized views of the repository content for statistical analysis and reporting. Since 2008, this system has been used by the Cleveland Clinic's Heart and Vascular Institute to support numerous clinical investigations, and in 2009 Cleveland Clinic was certified to submit data produced in this manner to national quality monitoring databases sponsored by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology.


Clinical data, clinical research, electronic medical records, inference, ontology, quality reporting, RDF, semantic web, SemanticDB, health care data, XML format.


Cleveland Clinic, JJ-40, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.

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