The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology issued an influential 2010 report on Health IT calling for the creation of a Universal Health Exchange Language. This was discussed at a recent workshop in San Francisco RDF as a Universal Health Exchange Language and previously at the New Health Project meeting at MIT and the New Health Project Science of the Individual workshop in San Diego. I also discussed these topics in a video interview with Stanford Computer Science/Medical Informatics professor Gio Wiederhold.
We will be holding a workshop at my home in North San Diego County June 24th – 25th to examine both the theoretical and practical foundations of implementing a Universal Health Exchange Language.
If we are designing a language, we also need to address the pragmatic issues surrounding the language. Who or what is the speech community who will be using it? What will they be using it to express? Does this language supplement or replace spoken language?
It also brings up deeper questions relating to the foundations of the medical informatics involved: At one end of the spectrum is a highly structured coding system, akin to a Dewey Decimal System indexing books in a card catalog in a library. Books that don’t fit well into any given category fall out of the sieve into “miscellaneous” or the 000 category. The other end of the spectrum is Google, treating “everything as miscellaneous,” and using no predefined structure to the data involved.
Schedule (draft; specific times for hangouts will be posted later this week)
Tues, 2-5PM (PDT) “Beyond the Boolean Lattice” will examine the theoretical foundations of this, looking towards ways of sense-making of medical information that don’t depend on Boolean categorizations. This might include Category Theory, Algebraic Group Theory, or other other approaches. This will also examine how RDF/Semantic Web technologies might be used as a foundation to “bootstrap” current health IT technology to innovative ways of dealing with health information, clinical decision support, and research. Tentative speakers: David Ellerman, Erick Von Schweber, Ben Grosof (Hangout), John Mattison, Peter Norvig (Hangout)
5:00PM refreshments/appetizers, followed by Dinner. Hosted by Conant and Associates, a physician-led health IT consulting group specializing in Nuance speech recognition technology. Please contact Tom if you have any dietary restrictions.
Weds, 9 AM – 3 PM (PDT) “What is the Universe of a Universal Health Exchange Language?” This will be a broader look at the practical applications of a Universal Health Exchange Language. We will look at language and speech communities from an anthropological perspective, with lessons learned from the design of the VA’s VistA. We will look at Health IT and communications from an “information space” perspective, not simply a collection of interfaced enterprises. We will look at issues of privacy, provenance, and complextity from the perspective of a universally addressable information space, and what a universal health exchange language might facilitate this broader “universe” of communication. Lunch and refreshments will be included. David Booth (Hangout), Adrian Gropper (Hangout), Emory Fry, Tom Munnecke, Christophe Lambert (Hangout), Reed Conant, Conor Dowling (possible Hangout) + TBD
The primary purpose of this workshop is a small, face-to-face “salon” style discussion. However, we recognize that there are many who can contribute to the discussion who can’t physically make it to the meeting. Therefore, we will be setting up a Google Hangout for remote participants to listen in. We will have some scheduled remote presentations via the Hangout, and may open the Hangout for general remote user comments, but that will be decided as the workshop progresses.
Attire: San Diego Casual. The evening breeze may be a bit chilly, so bring a jacket if you want to be outside.
Please register at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7074105841
I’ve set up a Shared Google Docs Folder for presentations, notes, and papers. This is an open directory for anyone having the link. (For now). We will have this document available for shared notes
We will be photographing and/or video recording during the workshop, which will be published online for general Internet viewing. If you wish to opt-out of this procedure, let me know and we will respect your wishes.
For more information, contact Tom Munnecke [email protected]