Cross Disciplinary Consultancy to Bridge Public Health Technical Needs and Analytic Developers: Negation Detection Use Case

Online J Public Health Inform. 2018 Sep 21;10(2):e209. doi: 10.5210/ojphi.v10i2.8944. eCollection 2018.


This paper describes a continuing initiative of the International Society for Disease Surveillance designed to bring together public health practitioners and analytics solution developers from both academia and industry. Funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a series of consultancies have been conducted on a range of topics of pressing concern to public health (e.g. developing methods to enhance prediction of asthma exacerbation, developing tools for asyndromic surveillance from chief complaints). The topic of this final consultancy, conducted at the University of Utah in January 2017, is focused on defining a roadmap for the development of algorithms, tools, and datasets for improving the capabilities of text processing algorithms to identify negated terms (i.e. negation detection) in free-text chief complaints and triage reports.

Keywords: chief complaints; natural language processing; negation detection; syndromic surveillance.