Technical Keynote II
Semantic models and ontologies in surgical data science
Surgical Data Science basically aims at providing computer assistance to the surgeons and to other kinds of healthcare professionals involved in surgery, so that to ensure optimal safety, medical outcome, and efficiency. It includes the representation of various kinds of models of the procedures, activities, instruments, materials, surgical staff and of the roles played by such entities in surgical activities. In order to specify such models and to build up such computer systems, it is essential to define an explicit and consistent vocabulary. This is where ontologies and semantic technologies come into play. Indeed, naming things consistently is essential in this context, notably: 1) to collect, share and annotate surgical data and learn from it; 2) to ensure the interoperability of complex equipment in the OR (sensors, decision support systems, effectors), 3) to ensure smooth communication between the automated systems and the humans that use them.
The presentation will summarize the state of the art in the domain of ontologies for Surgical Data Science, mostly relying on a workshop held in Rennes (France) on 28-29 April, 2016. This workshop gathered several groups interested in the development and use of ontologies for representing Surgical Process Models. The goal of the workshop was to present existing ontologies and recent works in this area and to discuss what could be the objectives of a collaborative action in this area, targeted to the definition and adoption of a common ontology, and how such an action could be organized. The presentation will summarize the major options mentioned during the workshop and open the discussion about this important subject.