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Snowray Introduces Semantic Search to All Medical Terminologies

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The Snowray Terminology Service by B2i Healthcare reforms the way we think about the management and maintenance of Value Sets.

LISBON, PORTUGAL, November 24, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ -- With today’s Snowray release, B2i Healthcare has unveiled a semantic search technology that allows querying terminologies based on their clinical meaning. The previous state-of-the-art allowed clinically meaningful searches on ontologies such as SNOMED CT, and this innovation extends the capability to ICD-10, LOINC, ICD-11, local code systems, and other taxonomies.

In order to ensure interoperability in healthcare, clinicians rely on medical terminologies to encode clinical information in a standardized manner. A number of international and national terminology standards such as SNOMED CT, ICD-10, and LOINC evolved for different clinical use cases. Care providers also often work with Local Code Systems to describe data unique to their care settings. The size of these terminologies and code systems can range from a few items to hundreds of thousands, so it is essential to narrow them down to a manageable size to ensure usability.

Creating and maintaining concept sets that share similar characteristics is challenging without the application of computable rules. Since medical terminologies, such as SNOMED CT are large, complex and grow continuously, automated querying and aggregation is necessary to keep value sets up-to-date and ensure that all clinically relevant information is captured.

The Expression Constraint Language (ECL) allows building rules to retrieve SNOMED CT content based on meaning represented by hierarchical or defining relationships, and other attributes, such as descriptions or historical associations. As other healthcare terminology standards like ICD-11 and Local Code Systems continue to evolve, formally defined semantics are becoming more widespread. Snowray extends the syntax of ECL to allow querying any code system and building search criteria that can be executed against a variety of structures. These sets of semantically similar concepts are represented and shared as FHIR Value Sets via a standard FHIR API.

Snowray adds a number of complementary features to the extended Expression Constraint Language to support terminologists: Value Sets are version controlled, can be automatically upgraded to new versions of the underlying code system, and a compare function displays the differences between versions. Snowray provides a FHIR API and a REST API for seamless integration and data syndication with clinical health systems.

A demonstration of the terminology agnostic ECL, along with lessons learned from customers during implementation was presented at the 2022 SNOMED CT Expo in Lisbon, Portugal by Orsolya Bali, B2i Healthcare’s CEO. The presentation is available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3v6rYrO7Bk&list=PLyEMmgWz-ul18Us0R1CyOWirKm8Tg5eH5&index=39. You can experiment with the technology and build your own Value Sets with a free account at https://snowray.app and explore the power of semantic searching based on the Snow Owl Terminology Server.

Orsolya Bali
B2i Healthcare

ECL Beyond SNOMED CT - a Universal Approach to Intensional Concept Set Definitions

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