Insight: Semantic Provenance and Analysis Platform for Multi-center Neurology Healthcare Research

Proceedings (IEEE Int Conf Bioinformatics Biomed). 2015 Nov;2015:731-736. doi: 10.1109/BIBM.2015.7359776.


Insight is a Semantic Web technology-based platform to support large-scale secondary analysis of healthcare data for neurology clinical research. Insight features the novel use of: (1) provenance metadata, which describes the history or origin of patient data, in clinical research analysis, and (2) support for patient cohort queries across multiple institutions conducting research in epilepsy, which is the one of the most common neurological disorders affecting 50 million persons worldwide. Insight is being developed as a healthcare informatics infrastructure to support a national network of eight epilepsy research centers across the U.S. funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This paper describes the use of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) PROV recommendation for provenance metadata that allows researchers to create patient cohorts based on the provenance of the research studies. In addition, the paper describes the use of descriptive logic-based OWL2 epilepsy ontology for cohort queries with "expansion of query expression" using ontology reasoning. Finally, the evaluation results for the data integration and query performance are described using data from three research studies with 180 epilepsy patients. The experiment results demonstrate that Insight is a scalable approach to use Semantic provenance metadata for context-based data analysis in healthcare informatics.

Keywords: Ontology streaming; Provenance metadata; Semantic integration of healthcare data.