Smart, Paul R. and Sadraie, Marjan
Applications and Uses of Dental Ontologies.
In, e-Society, Berlin, Germany,
07 - 10 Mar 2012.
The development of a number of large-scale semantically-rich ontologies for biomedicine attests to the interest of life science researchers and clinicians in Semantic Web technologies. To date, however, the dental profession has lagged behind other areas of biomedicine in developing a commonly accepted, standardized ontology to support the representation of dental knowledge and information. This paper attempts to identify some of the potential uses of dental ontologies as part of an effort to motivate the development of ontologies for the dental domain. The identified uses of dental ontologies include support for advanced data analysis and knowledge discovery capabilities, the implementation of novel education and training technologies, the development of information exchange and interoperability solutions, the better integration of scientific and clinical evidence into clinical decision-making, and the development of better clinical decision support systems. Some of the social issues raised by these uses include the ethics of using patient data without consent, the role played by ontologies in enforcing compliance with regulatory criteria and legislative constraints, and the extent to which the advent of the Semantic Web introduces new training requirements for dental students. Some of the technological issues relate to the need to extract information from a variety of resources (for example, natural language texts), the need to automatically annotate information resources with ontology elements, and the need to establish mappings between a variety of existing dental terminologies.
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