A context-aware approach for progression tracking of medical concepts in electronic medical records

Nai Wen Chang, Hong Jie Dai, Jitendra Jonnagaddala, Chih Wei Chen, Richard Tzong Han Tsai, Wen Lian Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Electronic medical records (EMRs) for diabetic patients contain information about heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and smoking status. Discovering the described risk factors and tracking their progression over time may support medical personnel in making clinical decisions, as well as facilitate data modeling and biomedical research. Such highly patient-specific knowledge is essential to driving the advancement of evidence-based practice, and can also help improve personalized medicine and care. One general approach for tracking the progression of diseases and their risk factors described in EMRs is to first recognize all temporal expressions, and then assign each of them to the nearest target medical concept. However, this method may not always provide the correct associations. In light of this, this work introduces a context-aware approach to assign the time attributes of the recognized risk factors by reconstructing contexts that contain more reliable temporal expressions. The evaluation results on the i2b2 test set demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed approach, which achieved an F-score of 0.897. To boost the approach's ability to process unstructured clinical text and to allow for the reproduction of the demonstrated results, a set of developed .

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S150-S157
JournalJournal of Biomedical Informatics
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Clinical natural language processing
  • Electronic medical record
  • Temporal information extraction


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