Improving the exchange of medical information through applied ontologies

As part of the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontology (OBO) Foundry, the GRIIS is joining forces with an international community that develops compatible ontologies.

An ontology is a rigorous representation of a domain of reality (e.g. the medical field). It uses language that computers understand. This allows computers to reason in an automated way. By means of computer science, we can automatically test the logical coherence of an ontology or infer new knowledge.

At the GRIIS, we develop ontologies in the biomedical field, such as an ontology of drug prescriptions or an ontology of cardiovascular diseases. These ontologies are subsequently applied in health informatics.

Ontologies can assist the linkage of health data that is diverse and heterogeneous (e.g. clinic and hospital data). With ontologies, computer systems can communicate with each other, even though they may be constructed differently.


Prescription of Drugs Ontology (PDRO)

PDRO is a realist ontology that aims to represent the domain of drug prescriptions. PDRO’s central focus is the structure of a drug prescription.

The PDRO ontology is the topic of a scientific article published in the journal Applied Ontology.

Cardiovascular Disease Ontology (CVDO)

The CVDO ontology differentiates between cardiovascular diseases, underlying disorders and associated pathological processes.

It is based on the disease model proposed by the Ontology for General Medical Science (OGMS).

Clinical Laboratory Test Document Ontology (LABO)

The LABO ontology represents documents that prescribe laboratory tests and that provide their results.

It is coordinated with OBO Foundry ontologies like the Information Artifact Ontology (IAO) and the Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI).


Key partners

The Quebec Support Unit of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research is made possible under the Canadian Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and supported by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec and the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Santé (FRQS).

With the support of

Applied ontologies directors

Adrien Barton - GRIIS

Adrien Barton

Associate professor at the Department of Philosophy at Université de Sherbrooke

CNRS research fellow at the Institut de recherche en informatique in Toulouse

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Jean-François Ethier - GRIIS - Groupe de recherche interdisciplinaire en informatique de la santé

Jean-François Ethier

Co-founder and scientific co-director of the GRIIS
Associate professor of medicine at Université de Sherbrooke
Licensed physician at the CHUS
Director of the Access to Data component at the Quebec Support Unit of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research

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