Research Topic

Healthcare Text Analytics: Unlocking the Evidence from Free Text

About this Research Topic

Healthcare narratives (such as clinical notes, discharge letters, nurse handover notes, imaging reports, patients posts on social media or feedback comments, etc.) have been used as a key communication stream that contains the majority of actionable and contextualised data, but which – despite being increasingly available in a digital form – is still not routinely analysed, and is rarely integrated with other healthcare data on a large-scale. There are many barriers and challenges in processing healthcare free text, including, for example, the variability and implicit nature of language expressions, and difficulties in sharing training and evaluation data. On the other hand, recent years have witnessed increasing needs and opportunities to process free text, with a number of success stories that have demonstrated the feasibility of using advanced Natural Language Processing to unlock evidence contained in free text to support clinical care, patient self-management, epidemiological research and audit.

In conjunction with the HealTAC 2020 conference, we welcome contributions to this Research Topic that address the variety of aspects involved in processing and using healthcare free text with the aim of improving healthcare. This Research Topic is also open to public submissions, as well as those based on talks given at the conference.

Examples of topics include, but are not limited to:
• Natural language processing of healthcare text
• Information extraction: identification of clinical variables and their values in free-text
• Medical ontologies and coding of healthcare text
• Machine-learning approaches to healthcare text analytics
• Transfer learning for healthcare text analytics
• Processing patient-generated data (e.g. social media, health forums, diaries)
• Processing clinical literature and trial reports
• Integration of structured and unstructured resources for health applications
• Text analytics and learning health systems
• Explainable models for healthcare NLP
• Real-time processing of healthcare free text
• Real-world application of healthcare text analytics
• Implementation of healthcare text analytics in practice: public engagement and trust
• Sharing resources for healthcare text analytics (data and methods)
• Reproducibility in the healthcare text analytics
• Evaluation and assessment of healthcare text analytics methods
• Processing speech in healthcare applications

Dr. Angus Roberts has received funding from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Text Analytics, Natural Language Processing, Health Informatics, Text Mining, Medical Informatics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Healthcare narratives (such as clinical notes, discharge letters, nurse handover notes, imaging reports, patients posts on social media or feedback comments, etc.) have been used as a key communication stream that contains the majority of actionable and contextualised data, but which – despite being increasingly available in a digital form – is still not routinely analysed, and is rarely integrated with other healthcare data on a large-scale. There are many barriers and challenges in processing healthcare free text, including, for example, the variability and implicit nature of language expressions, and difficulties in sharing training and evaluation data. On the other hand, recent years have witnessed increasing needs and opportunities to process free text, with a number of success stories that have demonstrated the feasibility of using advanced Natural Language Processing to unlock evidence contained in free text to support clinical care, patient self-management, epidemiological research and audit.

In conjunction with the HealTAC 2020 conference, we welcome contributions to this Research Topic that address the variety of aspects involved in processing and using healthcare free text with the aim of improving healthcare. This Research Topic is also open to public submissions, as well as those based on talks given at the conference.

Examples of topics include, but are not limited to:
• Natural language processing of healthcare text
• Information extraction: identification of clinical variables and their values in free-text
• Medical ontologies and coding of healthcare text
• Machine-learning approaches to healthcare text analytics
• Transfer learning for healthcare text analytics
• Processing patient-generated data (e.g. social media, health forums, diaries)
• Processing clinical literature and trial reports
• Integration of structured and unstructured resources for health applications
• Text analytics and learning health systems
• Explainable models for healthcare NLP
• Real-time processing of healthcare free text
• Real-world application of healthcare text analytics
• Implementation of healthcare text analytics in practice: public engagement and trust
• Sharing resources for healthcare text analytics (data and methods)
• Reproducibility in the healthcare text analytics
• Evaluation and assessment of healthcare text analytics methods
• Processing speech in healthcare applications

Dr. Angus Roberts has received funding from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regards to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Text Analytics, Natural Language Processing, Health Informatics, Text Mining, Medical Informatics


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

25 April 2020 Abstract
25 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

25 April 2020 Abstract
25 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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