PhD Research Project by Maged N Kamel Boulos
(PhD awarded in December 2002)
Centre for Measurement and Information in Medicine, School of Informatics, City University, London, UK
Download the Most Up-to-date Project Summary, Aims and Objectives (PDF)
HealthCyberMap aims at mapping the health information cyberspace in unique and novel ways to help consumers and providers of health information navigate and plan this complex "virtual" space more efficiently and effectively. This is achieved through intelligent categorisation and interactive hypermedia visualisation of the health information cyberspace. Customisation possibilities are included in the study, e.g., based on the user's geographical location to deal with language as well as any specific health needs/ online resources related to this location. HealthCyberMap uses "conventional" geographical maps to map cyberspace, attributing health resources on the Web to the geographical location (country) of their corresponding health information providers. Another set of Human Body topic maps is used to navigate health resources by category/ topic/ body system according to the WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD) which acts as HealthCyberMap's medical ontology. We also use a third type of cybermaps, our Virtual Health Library map, to structure and organise health information resources by type: electronic articles, electronic journals, e-books, digital atlases (e.g., of dermatology), audio-visual material, other online health services, etc. HealthCyberMap hypermedia zoomable maps are used to locate and launch health resources on the Web, and also to display their attributes (bibliographic card). The study also demonstrates the feasibility of Electronic Patient Record to HealthCyberMap problem to knowledge linking using ICD-9-CM codes as crisp problem to knowledge linkers or knowledge hooks.
a Web-based project developed using ESRI ArcView
GIS v3.1 with
BodyViewer (ICD-9) and Internet mapping
extensions (WebView 1.1). ASP server pages are used to query HealthCyberMap
database. The pilot version of the project only maps a limited number of health
information providers world-wide and just part of their resources. Aided by conventional
meta-search Web engines/ tools and existing medical directories like OMNI, candidate resources are hand-selected, and
their attributes, including ICD codes representing their subjects
as well as any recognised quality rating they already bear, are
manually compiled in HealthCyberMap database based on the Dublin Core metadata
set. ICD-9-CM code locators (e.g., Yaki
Technologies' eICD.com) are used to locate the ICD codes
that best describe the topics covered by a given resource. (ICD-9-CM codes are
maintained by the American Public Health Service and the Health Care Financing
Administration of the US.)
See HealthCyberMap project in ArcView.
The first public pilot site release of HealthCyberMap (URI: http://www.healthcybermap.org or http://healthcybermap.semanticweb.org) is now online. A small-scale public evaluation of HealthCyberMap concepts (questionnaire) will be conducted during 2002 and results analysed and published.
HealthCyberMap adopts a model-based metadata framework that builds upon one or more clinical coding schemes for the semantic classification, visualisation and browsing of medical information resources on the Internet. HealthCyberMap utilises GIS methods to generate its navigational cybermaps, which are also based on sound cartographic principles and familiar medical metaphors. This maximises the spatial legibility and utility of the generated hypermaps. HealthCyberMap's metadata base has been modelled in Protégé-2000 and imported to ArcView GIS for mapping and cyberspatial analysis (detecting infogaps using choropleth maps of the human body). HealthCyberMap's cybermaps can be considered as spatialised browsing views of its underlying metadata base. Literature covering the bibliographic and cybergraphic uses of GIS is very rare (and none is specific to the medical domain), and so is research into the relatively new methods of spatialisation for browsing Web resources. Using a clinical coding scheme as a metric for spatialisation (semantic distance) is unique to HealthCyberMap. Also HealthCyberMap's use of BodyViewer (an ArcView extension) is novel and unconventional.
HealthCyberMap addresses many of the current knowledge needs of Internet health information providers, healthcare professionals and the general public and patients, by helping them better understand, plan and manage the health information cyberspace. Problem-specific knowledge (the right, contextually relevant knowledge) linked to real patient data is the key to informed clinical decision making and better healthcare outcomes.
1. The geographical cybermaps are special maps where distance, direction and time loose their conventional meanings (e.g., you can have two resources from two different countries displayed at the same time in two Web browser windows, but you cannot physically visit two countries at the same time).
2. The current HealthCyberMap Bibliographic Card (Resource Metadata) includes the following fields:
3. Future directions include:
A partial list is available in a separate 'Webliography/ Bibliography' section on this server.
A list of publications arising out of this project.
Maged N. Kamel Boulos
M.B., B.Ch., M.Sc. (Derm. & Vener.), M.Sc. (Medical Informatics), Ph.D. (awarded in Dec. 2002)
(I now work as Lecturer in Healthcare Informatics at the School for Health, University of Bath.)
Formerly: Research Assistant in Medical Informatics and Ph.D. Candidate
Centre for Measurement and Information in Medicine
School of Informatics
Fax (+44) 08709157698