The Ontology for the Telehealth Domain – TEON

  • Filipe Santana da Silva Núcleo de Telessaúde Centro de Informática Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
  • Amadeu Sá Campos Filho Núcleo de Telessaúde Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
  • Magdala de Araújo Novaes Núcleo de Telessaúde Departamento de Medicina Interna Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Keywords: Telehealth, Services, Ontology, Representation, Medical Informatics

Abstract

Information about telehealth is distributed over many systems, generating content overlap and heterogeneity. As a way to standardize nomenclatures and organize content in telehealth systems and applications, the use of standardized vocabularies is recommended. However, most of them rely on informal text-free definitions that bring confusion. Together with this limitation, and due to recent Brazilian regulations concerning the delivery of telehealth services, a Telehealth Ontology (TEON) was developed. This study describes and presents TEON, elucidating its main use-case, its applicability and potential to improve information exchange, interoperability and decision support. TEON was developed based on the upper-domain ontology BioTopLite2 (BTL2) and Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI). The scope of the work includes a set of competency questions to guide the domain modelling. TEON was formalized with Description Logics (DL) and the Web Ontology Language v.2 (OWL2). The telehealth services are composed of three main components: actors, the service itself and temporal-location barriers. The main roles are identified as the requestor, the teleconsultant and the manager. With TEON, we are able to specify if services are synchronous or not. Services are described by means of participants in the process, i.e. by specifying the agents and patients according to their roles. The envisioned use of TEON is to enable the integration of heterogeneous databases from different telehealth systems, considering the formal perspective embedded in ontologies. Currently, TEON is being included in HealthNet (teleconsultation), INDU (tele-education), dataNUTES (management), and SMART (monitoring) through as an integration interface, in order to generate indicators and reports to support telehealth manager’s decision-making and to facilitate providing indicators to the system for monitoring and results evaluation of the National Brazilian Telehealth Program of the Ministry of Health.

Author Biographies

Amadeu Sá Campos Filho, Núcleo de Telessaúde Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Graduate at Engenharia Civil from Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (1998) and master's at Engenharia Civil from Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo (2004). Currently I am doing PhD in Computer Graphic in Informatic Center at Universidade Federal de Pernambuco. Has experience in Computer Science, focusing on Information Systems, acting on the following subjects: E-learning, information visualization and Interface Human Computer and 3D games.
Magdala de Araújo Novaes, Núcleo de Telessaúde Departamento de Medicina Interna Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

PhD in Bioinformatics at the Université d'Aix-Marseille II (France), Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in 1993, specialized in information technology applied to organizations by the University of Montpellier I (France), and graduated in Computer Science at the Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE) in 1987 (Brazil). Associate professor of Health Informatics, Department of Internal Medicine, Coordinator of the Research Group on Health Information Technology (TIS) and Coordinator of the Telehealth Center (NUTES) of UFPE - eHealth Unit of the Clinics Hospital. Areas of expertise:information technology and communications in health, clinical informatics, public health informatics, information technology in medical education. Coordinates and develops projects at NUTES with emphasis on primary care and in mental health through telehealth. Member of the Surgery post graduate program at UFPE and collaborator in post graduate programs of Computer Science and Neuropsychiatry. Researcher at the National Institute of Science and Technology of Psychiatry Child and Adolescent Development (INPD). Member of the Brazilian Society of Health Informatics (SBIS). Member of the Advisory Committee of Telemedicine University Network (RUTE) of the National Research Network (RNP).

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Published
2016-01-31
How to Cite
Santana da Silva, F., Sá Campos Filho, A., & de Araújo Novaes, M. (2016). The Ontology for the Telehealth Domain – TEON. Journal of the International Society for Telemedicine and EHealth, 4, e6 (1-8). Retrieved from https://journals.ukzn.ac.za/index.php/JISfTeH/article/view/143
Section
Special Theme: Telehealth in Brazil