Developing a modular architecture for creation of rule-based clinical diagnostic criteria

Na Hong, Jyotishman Pathak, Christopher G. Chute, Guoqian Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: With recent advances in computerized patient records system, there is an urgent need for producing computable and standards-based clinical diagnostic criteria. Notably, constructing rule-based clinical diagnosis criteria has become one of the goals in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-11 revision. However, few studies have been done in building a unified architecture to support the need for diagnostic criteria computerization. In this study, we present a modular architecture for enabling the creation of rule-based clinical diagnostic criteria leveraging Semantic Web technologies. Methods and results: The architecture consists of two modules: an authoring module that utilizes a standards-based information model and a translation module that leverages Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL). In a prototype implementation, we created a diagnostic criteria upper ontology (DCUO) that integrates ICD-11 content model with the Quality Data Model (QDM). Using the DCUO, we developed a transformation tool that converts QDM-based diagnostic criteria into Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL) representation. We evaluated the domain coverage of the upper ontology model using randomly selected diagnostic criteria from broad domains (n = 20). We also tested the transformation algorithms using 6 QDM templates for ontology population and 15 QDM-based criteria data for rule generation. As the results, the first draft of DCUO contains 14 root classes, 21 subclasses, 6 object properties and 1 data property. Investigation Findings, and Signs and Symptoms are the two most commonly used element types. All 6 HQMF templates are successfully parsed and populated into their corresponding domain specific ontologies and 14 rules (93.3 %) passed the rule validation. Conclusion: Our efforts in developing and prototyping a modular architecture provide useful insight into how to build a scalable solution to support diagnostic criteria representation and computerization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number33
JournalBioData Mining
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 21 2016


  • Diagnostic Criteria
  • ICD-11
  • Ontology
  • QDM
  • SWRL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics


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