Text Mining Medicine
The medical world’s complexity contains a plethora of specialized terms that are inconsistent and may overlap. Since these medical terms are sporadically introduced by researchers in different geographical and temporal contexts, this may cause the meaning of terms to change or make terminology ambiguous or nonexistent. Such ambiguity in clinical practice guidelines leads to inconsistent interpretation and, in turn, to inappropriate treatment decisions and medical errors.
One solution is the creation of a medical ontology, or a set of standardized medical concepts. But standardizing terminology is easier said than done. Today’s medical language is living and complex, with new terms and medical fields constantly being created. As these new terms and fields evolve, earlier indexing may be incomplete or inappropriate, and may later cause misinformation or miscommunication.