Clinical data that may be used in a secondary capacity to support research activities are regularly stored in three significantly different formats: (1) structured, codified data elements; (2) semi-structured or unstructured narrative text; and (3) multi-modal images. In this manuscript, we will describe the design of a computational system that is intended to support the ontology-anchored query and integration of such data types from multiple source systems. Additional features of the described system include (1) the use of Grid services-based electronic data interchange models to enable the use of our system in multi-site settings and (2) the use of a software framework intended to address both potential security and patient confidentiality concerns that arise when transmitting or otherwise manipulating potentially privileged personal health information. We will frame our discussion within the specific experimental context of the concept-oriented query and integration of correlated structured data, narrative text, and images for cancer research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-182
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Digital Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Grid computing
  • Image retrieval
  • Information retrieval
  • Ontologies
  • Text mining


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