An Ontological Theory of the Electrocardiogram with Applications

Nome: Bernardo Nunes Gonçalves
Tipo: Dissertação de mestrado acadêmico
Data de publicação: 13/05/2009

Nomeordem decrescente Papel
José Gonçalves Pereira Filho Orientador


Nomeordem decrescente Papel
Frederico Torres Fonseca Examinador Externo
Giancarlo Guizzardi Coorientador
João Paulo Andrade Almeida Examinador Interno
José Gonçalves Pereira Filho Orientador

Resumo: The fields of Medical- and Bio-informatics are bearing witness of the application of the discipline of Formal Ontology to the representation of biomedical entities and (re-)organization of medical terminologies also in view of advancing electronic health records (EHR). In this context, the electrocardiogram (ECG) defines one of the prominent kinds of biomedical data. As a vital sign, it is an important piece in the composition of the EHR of today, as likely in the EHR of the future. This thesis introduces an ontological analysis of the ECG grounded in the Unified Foundational Ontology (UFO) and axiomatized in First-Order Logic (FOL). With the goal of investigating the phenomena underlying this cardiological exam, we deal with the sub-domains of human heart electrophysiology and anatomy. We then outline an ECG ontology meant to represent ECG is on both sides of the patient and of the physician. The ontology is implemented in the semantic web technology OWL with its SWRL extension.

The ECG Ontology makes use of basic relations standardized in the OBO Relation Ontology for the biomedical domain. In addition, it takes inspiration in the Foundational Model of Anatomy (FMA) and applies the Ontology of Functions (OF). Besides the ECG ontological theory itself, two applications of the ECG Ontology are also presented here. The first one is concerned with the off-line integration of ECG data standards, a relevant endeavor for the progress of Medical Informatics. The second one in turn comprises a reasoning-based web system that can be used to offer support for interactive learning in electrocardiography / heart electrophysiology. Overall, we also reflect on the ECG Ontology as well as on its two applications to provide evidence for benefits achieved with the employment of methodological principles - in terms of both ontological foundations and ontology engineering - in building a domain ontology.

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