Evaluating Suitability of SNOMED CT in Structured Searches for COVID-19 Studies

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2021 May 27;281:88-92. doi: 10.3233/SHTI210126.


Studies investigating the suitability of SNOMED CT in COVID-19 datasets are still scarce. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the suitability of SNOMED CT for structured searches of COVID-19 studies, using the German Corona Consensus Dataset (GECCO) as example. Suitability of the international standard SNOMED CT was measured with the scoring system ISO/TS 21564, and intercoder reliability of two independent mapping specialists was evaluated. The resulting analysis showed that the majority of data items had either a complete or partial equivalent in SNOMED CT (complete equivalent: 141 items; partial equivalent: 63 items; no equivalent: 1 item). Intercoder reliability was moderate, possibly due to non-establishment of mapping rules and high percentage (74%) of different but similar concepts among the 86 non-equal chosen concepts. The study shows that SNOMED CT can be utilized for COVID-19 cohort browsing. However, further studies investigating mapping rules and further international terminologies are necessary.

Keywords: COVID-19; SNOMED CT; Semantic interoperability; standardization.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Consensus
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine*