Next Steps in Intelligent Information Management in the Pharmaceutical and eHealth Domains: Facts and Trends

moderator: José Manuel Gómez-Pérez, iSOCO
author: Susie Stephens, ORACLE
author: Rudi Studer, Institute of Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods (AIFB), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
author: Bo Andersson, AstraZeneca
author: Francisco José Farfán, Hospital de Fuenlabrada
author: Todor Primov, Ontotext Semantic Technology Lab, Sirma Group
published: Jan. 18, 2010,   recorded: December 2009,   views: 3933

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The pharmaceutical industry is one of the business sectors where the data explosion experienced by the global economy in the last years has had a bigger impact. Motivated by the need of safer and more effective medical treatments, means for the analysis of existing literature and its reuse in order to form new concepts and hypotheses have become essential for research on drug discovery. Along with the size, number, and complexity of drug databases and repositories, investments have considerably increased in these years in order to produce means that harness all such data into knowledge that can be capitalized by the pharmaceutical companies. Key issues to be addressed include dealing with disconnected data sets, addressing heterogeneous nomenclature, which hamper information search and retrieval both for drugs and diseases, and keeping track of the data produced throughout experimental processes for later interpretation of the results and tracing the provenance of the data. Furthermore, most of these issues are recurrent also at the opposite end of the drug chain, with direct consequences on patients. Through a combination of technology and standards, health care institutions are struggling to address the interoperability problem existing between the different nomenclature used in e Health systems. However, this is a hard problem and, as a consequence, patient safety is compromised by medication errors occurring both at the prescription and administration stages. Semantic technologies are having a fundamental role in addressing these problems. This panel brings together experts from the fields of drug discovery, health care, and semantic technologies with the twofold goal of analyzing the impact of such technologies in these sectors and assessing ongoing and new challenges to be addressed in the short and mid-term.

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