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Using Clinical Natural Language Processing for Health Outcomes Research: Overview and Actionable Suggestions for Future Advances

Velupillai, S; Suominen, H; Liakata, M; Roberts, A; Shah, AD; Morley, K; Osborn, D; ... Dutta, R; + view all (2018) Using Clinical Natural Language Processing for Health Outcomes Research: Overview and Actionable Suggestions for Future Advances. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 10.1016/j.jbi.2018.10.005. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The importance of incorporating Natural Language Processing(NLP) methods in clinical informatics research has been increasingly recognized over the past years, and has led to transformative advances. Typically, clinical NLP systems are developed and evaluated on word, sentence, or document level annotations that model specific attributes and features, such as document content (e.g., patient status, or report type), document section types (e.g., current medications, past medical history, or discharge summary), named entities and concepts (e.g., diagnoses, symptoms, or treatments) or semantic attributes (e.g., negation, severity, or temporality). From a clinical perspective, on the other hand, research studies are typically modelled and evaluated on a patient- or population-level, such as predicting how a patient group might respond to specific treatments or patient monitoring over time. While some NLP tasks consider predictions at the individual or group user level, these tasks still constitute a minority. Owing to the discrepancy between scientific objectives of each field, and because of differences in methodological evaluation priorities, there is no clear alignment between these evaluation approaches. Here we provide a broad summary and outline of the challenging issues involved in defining appropriate intrinsic and extrinsic evaluation methods for NLP research that is to be used for clinical outcomes research, and vice-versa. A particular focus is placed on mental health research, an area still relatively understudied by the clinical NLP research community, but where NLP methods are of notable relevance. Recent advances in clinical NLP method development have been significant, but we propose more emphasis needs to be placed on rigorous evaluation for the field to advance further. To enable this, we provide actionable suggestions, including a minimal protocol that could be used when reporting clinical NLP method development and its evaluation.

Type: Article
Title: Using Clinical Natural Language Processing for Health Outcomes Research: Overview and Actionable Suggestions for Future Advances
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbi.2018.10.005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbi.2018.10.005
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Clinical Informatics, Epidemiology, Evaluation, Information Extraction, Mental Health Informatics, Natural Language Processing, Public Health, Text Analytics
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061151
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