Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Clinical Ontologies

  • Yves A. LussierEmail author
  • James L. Chen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_62


Clinical classifications; Clinical nomenclatures; Clinical terminologies


An ontology is a formal representation of a set of heterogeneous concepts. However, in the life sciences, the term clinical ontology has also been more broadly defined as also comprising all forms of classified terminologies, including classifications and nomenclatures. Clinical ontologies provide not only a controlled vocabulary but also relationships among concepts allowing computer reasoning such that different parties, like physicians and insurers, can efficiently answer complex queries.

Historical Background

As the life sciences integrates increasingly sophisticated systems of patient management, different means of data representation have had to keep pace to support user systems. Simultaneously, the explosion of genetic information from breakthroughs from the Human Genome Project and gene chip technology have further expedited the need for robust, scalable platforms for handling...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Vipul Kashyap
    • 1
  1. 1.Director, Clinical ProgramsCIGNA HealthcareBloomfieldUSA