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Mayo Clinic and IBM host medical language initiative
Date:4/1/2009

ROCHESTER, Minn., and ARMONK, NY -- Biomedical informatics researchers at Mayo Clinic and IBM today launched a Web site for the newly founded Open Health Natural Language Processing (NLP) Consortium. The consortium is establishing the open-source space to promote past and current development efforts, including participation in information extraction from electronic medical records.

As part of the launch, Mayo Clinic and IBM released their clinical NLP technologies into the public domain. The site http://www.ohnlp.org will allow the approximately 2,000 researchers and developers working on clinical language systems worldwide to contribute code and further develop the systems.

"We are inviting our international colleagues to help continue development of these valuable tools," says Christopher Chute, M.D., Dr.P.H., Mayo Clinic bioinformatics expert and senior consultant on the project. "By making it an open-source initiative, we hope to enable wide use of these NLP tools so medical advancements can happen faster and more efficiently."

"The recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act promises to accelerate the adoption of electronic medical records," said Dan Pelino, IBM's general manager, Global Healthcare & Life. "Because the success of such reform rides on delivering interconnected and intelligent information to health care professionals everywhere, Mayo and IBM are tapping into the collaborative power of the open-source community to speed the development of Natural Language Processing (NLP). Adoption of this technology will provide physicians with insights into each patient's condition, allowing them to electronically retrieve the exact knowledge they seek from patient health records rather than reading through every record provided, as they must do today." Patient privacy is a main concern and consideration; all current and any future required
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Contact: Robert Nellis
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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