Mayo, IBM look to open source to promote EMR extraction efforts

The ongoing push to make electronic medical records mandatory isn't the easiest nut to crack, but biomedical informatics researchers with the Mayo Clinic and at IBM have figured out a way to make it a little easier on some physicians. The two have combined to create a website for the Open Health Natural Language Processing Consortium; it will run an open-source space that will be used to promote developments in healthcare, namely on the EMR front. 

Natural Language Processing (NLP) ultimately provides "computational methods for understanding human language." For medical purposes, NLP focuses on various terms within each individual doctor-patient relationship, and categorizes those terms "according to standard nomenclature." The result is more efficient data searches for diagnoses and medical research. 

"The recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act promises to accelerate the adoption of electronic medical records," IMB's Dan Pelino said. "Because the success of such reform rides on delivering interconnected and intelligent information to healthcare professionals everywhere, Mayo and IBM are tapping into the collaborative power of the open-source community to speed the development of Natural Language Processing." 

To learn more on the efforts of Mayo and IBM:
- read this Healthcare IT News article