User-centric Ontology for Smart Holistic Health Information Systems

Sitalakshmi Venkatraman


This paper describes the first steps in the development of a user ontology for a Smart Health Information Portal (SHIP) to provide collaborative health terms in holistic medicine.  Recent trends in the increasing dissatisfaction with conventional medicine and towards embracing holistic model of health for improving quality of life is being witnessed worldwide, more importantly in the technologically advanced countries. Today, advancements in Internet technology and the vast as well as growing source of information available in World Wide Web have the vision to achieve patient education and empowerment of their own health conditions and well-being.  Hence, holistic medicine with the theory that each individual has an immense potential for self-healing could be mobilised by harnessing information technology intelligently. To achieve this, it becomes imperative to provide health information specific to each patient's needs in a personalised way due to the diversity in the patient circumstances and the availability of vast and varied information in the Web.   A Smart Health Information Portal (SHIP) could provide quality information that is most relevant to patients pursuing holistic treatments.  In this paper, we describe the initial development of a user ontology for holistic medical information that integrates conventional medical terms related to cardiac conditions along with Homeopathy and Ayurvedic terms towards providing meaningful complementary heart health information within an existing SHIP.

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